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Indefinite term for child sex offender

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/07/2016

A serial child sex offender deported from Australia who indecently assaulted a five-year-old girl in Waikato has been given an indefinite sentence.

Whangamata man Gregory MacDonald, 45, was sentenced of preventive detention with a minimum non-parole period of five years' in jail for the attack on a child near his home in October last year.

The High Court at Hamilton heard MacDonald had grabbed the girl in a reserve, took her to a nearby hut, undressed her and touched her buttocks before being interrupted.

Justice Anne Hinton said MacDonald, who pleaded guilty to the offence, had a long list of previous offending, mostly sexual offending against children, going back to when he was 14.

He was deported to New Zealand in 2011, having spent most of his life in Australia in jail after moving there in 1985.

MacDonald had taken medication for mental illnesses and had self harmed as a way of punishing himself for his offending, the court heard.

In a statement, the girl's mother said she had been robbed of her innocence and had changed, including becoming wary of going outside, being scared of going to the toilet and still suffering from nightmares about the attack.

Describing MacDonald as a high-risk offender, Justice Hinton said treatment had not had any lasting effect on him and a jail term with an end date would not protect the community enough.

"All in all, I am satisfied that you are likely to commit another qualifying offence if you were to be released at the end of any finite sentence I might impose on you," she said.

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