Comatose man molested
A drunken dinner party turned sinister when a young man indecently assaulted his comatose friend, Porirua District Court heard last Tuesday.
Titahi Bay manager Matthew Derek Pritchard, 24, was convicted of indecent assault for the April 2012 incident.
He will serve six months’ community detention and 18 months’ intensive supervision, do 200 hours of community work and undertake a sexual offenders’ rehabilitation programme.
The male victim was present at court last week, supported by his mother and a friend.
Pritchard was having dinner with the victim and another person before the assault happened, Judge John Walker said in his sentencing summary.
After dinner he and the victim were sitting on a bed or couch drinking whiskey. The victim passed out, and later woke to find his pants taken down.
Pritchard was touching the vic- tim’s genitals in a ‘‘ sexually intimate way’’ and put the victim’s hand down his own pants, Judge Walker said.
The victim was conscious of what was happening, but was too drunk to move.
Pritchard’s victim was vulnerable because of his intoxication, and had been seriously affected by the assault, Judge Walker said.
‘‘He might never be able to for- get what occurred. You’re responsible for all of those effects which he must carry for a substantial period of time.’’
Pritchard seemed to have a tendency to act inappropriately when drunk, Judge Walker said.
‘‘ Whatever inhibitions you might have had were removed by your drunkenness, while your inhibitions should normally regulate your behaviour.’’
Pritchard will be unable to drink alcohol during his community detention and will be curfewed to his home from 8.30pm till 7am. Those restrictions are designed to remove socialising opportunities, Judge Walker said.
The seriousness of Pritchard’s offence was balanced in sentencing by his young age, guilty plea and lack of a previous conviction, Judge Walker said.
Pritchard will be monitored every three months during his supervision period, and if his behaviour is unsatisfactory he will be recalled to court.
Planting: Ranui Residents Association co-chair Cheryl Brown puts in an olive tree during the recent planting day.