Oamaru man gets home detention for raping 15-year-old girl
The victim told the Timaru District Court she has been plagued by nightmares since being raped by Bailee Andrew James Hawtin, 24, about eight times over a month – the first while her older sister was screaming at him to stop.
“He took advantage of me and used me. I feel disgusted,” the victim said.
“I went from being happy to a closed person who doesn’t even like going shopping alone because I feel it may happen again.”
Hawtin was sentenced to nine months’ home detention with judicial monitoring and issued a first strike when he appeared before Judge Joanna Maze in the Timaru District Court on Wednesday, having pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual connection with a person aged 12 to 16.
Judge Maze did not order Hawtin to be registered as a child sex offender because there was no indication he posed an ongoing risk to children.
In a summary of facts presented to the court, Crown prosecutor Anne-Marie McRae said Hawtin and an associate picked the victim, her sister, and niece up from their home one evening.
They spent a few hours driving around and drinking before going to the home of Hawtin’s associate to sleep.
“Both the defendant and victim were intoxicated at this time,” McRae said.
While all five were settled in the bedroom, Hawtin began kissing the victim – ignoring her protest of “no” and attempts to push him away.
Her sister told Hawtin to stop and that she was underage, while his associate encouraged him to have sex with her.
Hawtin pinned the victim down – holding her wrists “so she couldn’t struggle” during the ordeal, McRae said.
He raped the victim at least seven more times across North Otago and South Canterbury, plying her with drugs and alcohol beforehand.
Hawtin, when questioned by police, stated he and the victim were in a consensual sexual relationship, and she claimed to be 16.
Judge Maze said Hawtin was “psychologically immature” and easily influenced.
“You are known to suffer from a diagnosed health disorder which impairs judgment and impacts your ability to express or even feel full remorse,” the judge said.
“At least in the immediate past, you have been living with the strong support of close family. You have changed the associations you previously had, and been making efforts to live a more responsible life.”
Judge Maze said Hawtin was trying to kick his drug habit but had suffered a relapse, and was back in a rehabilitation programme.
“You need to adopt better strategies for avoiding relapse, you need to choose your friends with greater care, and you need to settle down in employment.”
McRae argued for the defendant to be sentenced to imprisonment because he showed “a lack of accountability and remorse”.
“His attitude is concerning and may be indicative of how he would approach a sentence of home detention.”
Defence lawyer Kelly Beazley argued Hawtin was “remorseful” and “takes responsibility for his actions”, and had been adhering to the conditions of electronically-monitored bail since being released from custody on April 17.
“This has been a learning curve for him.”
Judge Maze said Hawtin’s rehabilitation needed to be the focus of the sentence and “that won’t be achieved with a full custodial sentence”.