A 16-year-old youth was today (Wednesday, 29 February) sentenced to 10 years imprisonment following the sexual violation and wounding of a five-year-old girl at a Turangi Holiday Park in December.
Speaking after the sentencing Detective Inspector Mark Loper, who led the investigation, said: "First and foremost my thoughts are with the young girl and her family. They have gone through a terrible ordeal that will no doubt be with them for a long time to come. I am pleased that they have at least been spared the additional ordeal of a trial.
"It was an emotional investigation at a very poignant time of year, touching the hearts of so many. New Zealand, particularly the community of Turangi, was watching and waiting with baited breath for an early resolution and I am extremely proud of the committed and dedicated team who brought about that timely result.
"Many of the staff working on the investigation are parents themselves and not one of them hesitated to give up quality time with their own families over Christmas to bring some peace of mind to so many others.
"On a final note it is important to acknowledge the communities in which we all live and work. The support shown to the Police and the family throughout was overwhelming, and we have seen that generosity continue with the recent announcement by the family that they are donating a large amount of the Trust money back to worthwhile causes in New Zealand."
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