The decision to grant permanent name suppression to a Southland man who filmed his 18-year-old employee having a shower has left the victim’s family disgusted.
The 38-year-old man was sentenced yesterday in the Invercargill District Court after he admitted attempting to make an intimate visual recording in relation to an incident in October last year.
Judge John Strettell sentenced the man to 12 months’ supervision and granted him permanent name suppression after considering a psychologist’s report expressing concerns for his safety.
Speaking to the Otago Daily Times outside court, the victim’s family said they were shocked and disappointed by the court’s decision.
Financial reparation was discussed, but the family did not want any money from the man — they just wanted to see justice done.
They said they were worried the same fate could be suffered by another family.
“My son didn’t deserve that. My son was brave enough to speak up to prevent this happening with any other boy — but now we can’t tell anyone about it.
“He [the defendant] has 12 months of someone checking on him, while my son has the rest of his life to live with that.
“Today was about us getting a closure and being able to deal with it, but this did not help anything.”
The 18-year-old victim was working away from Invercargill when the man tried to film him twice in the shower.
While he was his employer, the defendant was also a close family friend and was a kind of “big brother” to the victim, the court heard.
The victim’s father read out his son’s victim impact statement in court yesterday.
The victim described how he felt betrayed by the man and he could not leave his house for a month after the incident.
He still had flashbacks about the episode, the court heard.
The victim and his family asked the judge to not grant the man name suppression, as they believed having his name published would deter him from doing the same thing to other boys.
It would also allow the victim to speak freely about what happened to him and move on.
Defence lawyer Richard Little said this was his client’s first offence and he was undertaking psychological treatment.
He was depressed, being medicated and the publication of his name would cause him even more hardship.
Little said his client would never commit the same offending again.
“The court can have confidence that he will stick to what he says.”
Judge Strettell acknowledged the traumatic effect the episode would have in the life of the victim and thanked the family for their statements.
He said the conduct of the man breached community standards, but he was satisfied the publication of his name could cause a serious psychological impact on the defendant.
“There is a real and serious possibility of self-harm. I cannot discount that.”
He sentenced the man to 12 months of supervision with any conditions imposed by Corrections to be followed.