15 Nov 2012

Paedophile teacher may get preventive detention

6:27 pm on 15 November 2012

A Far North teacher who abused young boys over a period of 14 years may be sentenced to preventive detention, meaning he would be kept in prison indefinitely.

James Parker, the former deputy principal of Pamapuria School, appeared in Kaitaia District Court on Thursday on a total of 74 charges of sexual assault and indecency.

Parker, 37, was to have been sentenced, after pleading guilty to 49 charges in August but Judge Greg Davis deferred sentencing, saying the court would need to consider Parker's offending in its totality.

Parker did not enter a plea to the additional 25 charges, which were lodged in the last week.

The judge said he'd not been able to find a similar case in New Zealand that matched Parker's offending for its extent and complexity.

A pre-sentence report has recommended handing the case up to the High Court, which can impose preventive detention.

About a dozen of Parker's young victims were in court hoping to see him sentenced and stared hard at their former teacher as he stood in the dock.

But Parker kept his head down and never once met their gaze.

He was been remanded in custody until March next year for a hearing to decide how he will be sentenced.

Lawyer believes there are no more victims

His lawyer, Alex Witten-Hannah, told Checkpoint as far as he knows there are no more victims to come forward.

Mr Witten-Hannah says his client is prepared for a lengthy prison sentence and is determined to make it a positive experience.