Comedian sentenced to home detention



A comedian who admitted sexually assaulting his four-year-old daughter has been sentenced to home detention for eight months.

The comedian, who has permanent name suppression, was previously discharged without conviction after pleaded guilty to performing an indecent act on a child. But the High Court dismissed the discharge and he was re-sentenced on Friday in Auckland District Court.

The man had got into bed with his partner after drinking heavily at a 2009 Christmas function. His daughter then got into bed and the man's partner woke to find he had pulled down the daughter's pants and diaper and was kissing her body.

Re-sentencing the man, Judge Mark Perkins said many people in the man's profession knew about the offending despite him having name suppression and he had lost income to support his family.

Although separated from his wife, he now had joint care of his children.

Psychological reports showed no sign of continuing trauma in his daughter, who had been affected by the breach of trust and breakdown of the family.

"Obviously one would hope the child would not remember the details of the offending," Judge Perkins said.

The man had abstained from alcohol from two years and expressed his remorse and horror at his actions.

Judge Perkins said he wasn't convinced the consequences of conviction would be out of proportion to the gravity of the offence and home detention would reflect the man's "culpability and criminality".

The sentence has conditions enabling the man to continue to work and maintain relationships with his family.

The comedian's lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg, had argued he should be discharged without conviction, saying a conviction would severely impact on his career.

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