Ronald Edward Growcott admits child sex offending dating back 53 years

A 90-year-old man has admitted child sex offending dating back as long as 53 years.

Name suppression has lifted on Ronald Edward Growcott, who had a walking stick to help him stand in the dock when he pleaded guilty at the Christchurch District Court on Friday.

Growcott admitted sexual offending against a girl from 1963 to 1971. She was aged under 16 years throughout that time.

Growcott was in the news in December when he tried to go to Australia to see his wife who remains there and is ill. He was on bail at the time.

Defence counsel Andrew McCormick said it was not a serious attempt to evade the charge he already faced because when he arrived at Brisbane Airport he ticked the box on the arrival form saying he had a conviction.

He was stopped at the airport and put on a flight back to Christchurch the next day.

He was held in custody for more than a month, before being granted electronically monitored bail to live at a property in Christchurch.

Growcott was sentenced in May 2015 to six months’ home detention for sexually abusing two girls – some of those charges dated back 30 years.