23 Oct 2014

Teacher jailed for indecent assaults

6:15 pm on 23 October 2014

Former Havelock North music and drama teacher Charles Harter has been sentenced to three years and four months in jail for indecently assaulting children.

Harter, 63, last month admitted charges of indecently assaulting girls aged between nine and 12 while teaching at Havelock North Primary School between 2012 and July this year.

He appeared in the Napier District Court today, where Judge David Cameron sentenced him to three years and four months' jail.

Detective Sergeant Nic Clere said the sentencing would give a degree of closure to Harter's victims and sent a strong message to the public.

"For the victims, I think it gives them a sense of wellbeing and a sense of closure, to a degree," he said.

"There will, of course, be ongoing concerns with them over what has happened but from today they can turn over a page and, hopefully, move on."

An investigation into Harter's offending was ongoing and police were encouraging any other victims to come forward.

Harter's lawyer, Tony Snell, said Judge Cameron gave Harter a 25 percent sentence reduction for an early plea and assisting police.

Mr Snell said Harter would be eligible to apply for parole in about 13 months, and the jail term was within the range expected.

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