Abuse victim tells of nightmares
One of the sex abuse victims of wealthy Albany man Kenneth Norman yesterday gave a heartwrenching account of how his crimes had impacted every aspect of her life in the past four decades.
Norman, who will turn 80 next month, was last night behind bars, after being remanded in custody ahead of learning his fate later this week.
After an emotional District Court trial earlier this year, the long-time electrician was convicted of sexually assaulting eight girls in attacks dating back almost 50 years, after Norman had denied he had preyed on the young daughters of friends for years.
The jury heard detailed allegations of how Norman had sexually assaulted the girls during camping trips, motorbike rides and as they got ready for Brownies meetings.
And, despite acquitting him of more than a dozen charges, the jurors did find him guilty of offences against every one of his accusers, who told how he had groped and molested them in acts committed between 31 and 48 years ago.
During a sentencing hearing yesterday, one of those victims was permitted to read her victim impact statement aloud, saying as a result she suffered years of anxiety, depression, mood swings and paranoia spanning 45 years.
“I have felt alone, helpless and frightened . . . and a guilt which has spiralled into anxiety and depression,” she said. “I still have nightmares.” During the trial, the court was told how through a group of male friends who went spearfishing together, the families — including Norman’s — spent many days together on beaches, boats and bikes.
It was mostly during these trips that the electrician took the chance to grope and fondle the girls, and sometimes get them to touch him.
In 1978, Norman admitted to two such offences and was convicted of offending against two sisters aged nine and 12.
It was those same women, along with six others, who in late 2015 and early 2016 began recounting more stories of abuse to police.
Yesterday, Norman’s lawyer Tom Percy explained that while he had denied every offence, he also accepted he had committed crimes against children over many years — he just couldn’t remember exactly what and against whom.
Mr Percy also argued that he had not planned or premeditated the assaults on the girls, but Judge Mark Herron said that in his view he had shown “planning, premeditation and persistence”.
Prosecutor Rebecca Sleeth said Norman had shown no remorse whatsoever, which was shown in some of the cross-examination of victims — which suggested they were unstable or after his money.
“The shattering of trust of all eight of the victims has left them insecure and ashamed,” Ms Sleeth said.
Norman will be sentenced on Wednesday.