Raurangi Marino drank between 20 and 30 bottles of beer before stumbling into the Turangi campground, assaulting and raping a five-year-old tourist girl.
Marino, 16, was today jailed for 10 years for rape, seven for grievous bodily harm and two years for burglary. The terms were to be served concurrently.
The Rotorua District Court heard Marino had been on a 10-hour drinking binge and smoking cannabis leading up to the attack on the girl in December.
He broke into a unlocked caravan parked at Club Habitat and assaulted the girl while her parents were less than 20 metres away in an amenities block.
Marino had gone to two parties during the day, the second party he left after an argument and wandered into the camp ground where he tried to open car doors.
He found the caravan where the young victim was sleeping unlocked and went in.
The girl screamed and tried to run away but he grabbed her, choking her and hitting her around the head and face.
She was left with four missing teeth and serious internal injuries. He fled when her mother returned.
Judge Phillip Cooper said Marino had a dysfunctional family background involving drug taking, gang connections and alcohol abuse, but this did not condone his behaviour.
"You are responsible for your actions but your whanau and extended whanau are responsible for your upbringing which has involved a young man who has committed a serious crime."
Think back to our post on Sunday morning about Hawkes Bay man Henare O'Keefe, who said that children aren't born bad, but are the products of their upbringing. Whilst it's clear that Marino's upbringing has been very different to ours, it does not for one moment excuse his conduct. However his whanau should be looking deeply inward today.
And Marino's upbringing has been recognised at sentencing; read on:
Judge Cooper gave a starting point of imprisonment of 18 years because of the seriousness of the offending but gave a discount of four and a half years because of Marino's youth, dysfunctional upbringing, remorse and early guilty plea.
We're not quite sure at the maths there; Wouldn't a four-and-a-half year reduction (which we don't have a major problem with) from a starting point of 18 years give a sentence of 13 1/2 years? In addition, there doesn't appear to have been a non-parole period imposed. Does that mean that Marino will become eligible for parole at one third of his sentence?
So yes; we're angry; angry that a young child could be exposed to such appalling violence from a 16 year old. We're outraged that Marino will in all probability be back on the streets by about the time he is 21, whereas the victim will carry her scars forever.
But most of all we're sad; sad that a young, innocent child was robbed of her innocence by a drunk, stoned lout. And we're sad that New Zealnders still treat their children with such violence that they become like Raurangi Marino; a product of his upbringing. Somewhere along the way, we simply MUST break the cycle of abuse, because we're sure of one thing; there are dozens more Raurangi Marinos out there; ticking timebombs, where no-one knows when they will explode as Marino did.