A CHILD sex offender, whose crimes went undetected for more than 25 years, has been jailed indefinitely.

Bucklands Beach resident Brett David Grinder, 41, was sentenced in Auckland High Court on Friday to preventive detention on 24 sexual charges involving 13 complainants. He had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges in Manukau District Court.

The offences, dated from 1976 to 2001, involved boys and girls aged under 17 and included several from the Howick and Pakuranga area.

Grinder befriended and then indecently assaulted his victims. His most recent known victim was sexually violated from age 5.

Justice Paul Heath said the charges represent the tip of the iceberg of Grinder’s offending.

Mr Heath said Grinder preyed on his victims, cultivating close relationships with young people, including members of a mixed hockey team he coached.

Opportunities did not just arise, opportunities were created, he said.

Grinder sat calmly in the dock as Crown Prosecutor Debra Bell read statements outlining shame, pain and suffering from the 13 young people, who can’t be identified, and their families.

Mrs Bell said one woman has flashbacks of the abuse and used alcohol to help her sleep while others suffered severe depression and had suicidal feelings.

Many have problems trusting others and difficulty maintaining relationships.

The prisoner has been offending for the majority of his life, said Mrs Bell. There has been serious harm to the community.

Outside the court, a local woman related to a victim said the family was seeking closure and the sentence helped them do that. The emotion is all gone. We are elated but it’s all behind us now he got justice, justice has been done, she said.

It’s sort of like recognition for the victims.

Defence lawyer Adam Couchman said Grinder acknowledged he had a problem and had been in therapy for the past year. He argued Grinder can be rehabilitated and wanted a finite prison term imposed.

The number of victims and seriousness of the sexual crimes, and Grinder’s lack of remorse were key factors in handing down the preventive detention sentence, said Mr Heath.

The law regards your offending as extremely serious, Mr Heath said during sentencing.

The victim statements make for depressing reading. Those who are now much older wear the scars of your offending.

The sentence imprisons Grinder until a parole board deems he is safe to release back into the community. He isn’t eligible for parole for at least five years.