Anthony Hoyle was sentenced in the Whanganui District Court to six years, four months and two weeks imprisonment on charges of sexually abusing a young boy and beastiality. Photo / Bevan Conley
By Leighton Keith, Open Justice multimedia journalist, Whanganui
Warning: Graphic content.
A court has heard a convicted child sex offender’s upbringing within the Exclusive Brethren Church may have pre-disposed him to offend the way he did.
Anthony Daryl Hoyle appeared before Judge Bruce Northwood in the Whanganui District Court for sentencing on two charges each of unlawful sexual connection, doing an indecent act with a boy and one of bestiality (indecency with an animal).
Hoyle, who appeared via AVL, has been in custody since a jury of six men and six women found him guilty of the offending after a two-day trial in June.
He had been a friend of the victim’s family and the boy regularly went to stay at his rural Ohingaiti home, just north of Hunterville on State Highway 1, which is where the offending happened.
One day Hoyle pulled down the boy’s underwear while he was giving him a back massage and started touching him.
Hoyle also sexually abused the boy and made him watch as he performed a sex act with a cat.
The victim was in court supported by his mother and they both read statements detailing how Hoyle’s offending, when the boy was aged between 11 and 14, had impacted their lives.
The boy said he had experienced a lot of mental stress and gone down deep, dark holes while dealing with what had happened to him.
“Ones I almost never made it out of,” he told the court.
“I hope I can keep winning the fight for many more years.”
While the offending took place between 2011 and 2015 the boy didn’t confide in his mother until 2017, after his younger brother wanted to go and stay at Hoyle’s, and a formal complaint wasn’t made until 2020.
He said he finally acted to protect others.
“The hurt he has brought on my family is what hurts me the most.”
He could not understand why Hoyle continued to deny what he had done.
“We all know exactly what you did, including yourself.
“The picture of him doing those things to me won’t leave my head, no matter how much I want it to go away.”
His mother said she used to have love, honesty, trust and respect for Hoyle but now memories of him made her sick.
Crown prosecutor Jack Liu said an aggravating feature was the breach of trust and the victim’s vulnerability.
“All children in New Zealand are entitled to feel safe,” Liu said.
“It was gross indecency and serious sexual violation.”
Defence lawyer Craig Tuck said despite the jury’s verdict Hoyle maintained he was not guilty.
Tuck said Hoyle’s supporters, some of who were in court, provided references describing him as a loyal, trustworthy, capable, community-minded man.
“A caring person both for other people and animals.”
Judge Northwood said a cultural report, prepared by a psychotherapist, detailed how Hoyle’s upbringing within the Exclusive Brethren Church, which saw the family isolated from the wider community, could have contributed to the offending.
He said he had no opinion about the church’s practices but the report writer concluded the environment could have impacted Hoyle’s psychological state and pre-disposed him to offend the way he did.
Hoyle had taken measures to ensure his ability to offend when the opportunity arose by having a mattress in his room and offering massages.
“I’m sure that you offended on most occasions he visited.”
Judge Northwood acknowledged Hoyle’s supporters in court and their beliefs he was innocent but pointed out this type of offending was often carried out behind closed doors and surprised even the closest friends.
He sentenced Hoyle to a total of six years, four months and two weeks imprisonment on all charges.
Where to get help:
If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email email@example.com
• For more info or to web chat visit safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station – click here for a list.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it’s not your fault.