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First maximum third-strike sentence issued

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/11/2016

A man who grabbed a female prison guard's bottom has become the first person to be jailed for the maximum term under the three strikes law but may not serve all of his seven-year sentence.

Raven Campbell, 25, was sentenced to the maximum jail term in the High Court at Hamilton on Thursday after admitting indecently assaulting a prison guard at Waikeria Prison in May.

He had already been issued with two warnings under the three strikes legislation for robbery and aggravated robbery.

As such he was liable to be sentenced to the maximum term for indecent assault - seven years' jail - and have no prospect of parole.

But Justice Kit Toogod said making Campbell serve the full term,"would be a grossly disproportionate outcome" and declined to order him to serve the sentence without parole.

He agreed with defence counsel that the imposing the maximum term was very harsh as the offending was not the most serious assault of its type.

"But Parliament has determined that your history of violent offending requires a very stern response to protect the public from you and to act as a deterrent to you and others.

"It may seem very surprising that this consequence could be required by law for an offence of this kind, but that is the law and I have no option but to enforce it."

He said if it wasn't for the three strikes law Campbell was likely to have been jailed for no more than a year.

Campbell will be eligible for parole after serving a third of his sentence.

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