10 Apr 2013

Sex abuse teacher may face preventive detention

6:33 pm on 10 April 2013

A judge says preventive detention should be considered for a former teacher who has admitted scores of sex charges involving young boys.

James Parker, a former deputy principal of Pamapuria School, pleaded guilty in the Kaitaia District Court on Wednesday to a further 25 charges of sexual offending against boys, including five of sexual violation.

Judge Greg Davis said the 38-year-old's offending spanned a period of about 13 years from 1999 to 2012.

He said it involved grooming of the boys and their families, which made the offending more serious, and culminated in acts of sexual violation.

Parker has earlier admitted 49 charges of indecent assault on boys as young as nine, bringing the total number of charges against him to 74. He was remanded in custody to appear in the High Court on 2 May.

The lawyer acting for Parker says he will argue against a sentence of preventive detention.

Alex Witten-Hannah told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme that is the harshest penalty and believes a lengthy but finite sentence is appropriate.

"I think that sentencing judge has to differentiate between a violent offender who uses brutality to achieve his end and offenders such as James Parker who took advantage of trusting boys without any force or intimidation. You've got to balance the two."

Mr Witten-Hannah said although Parker has admitted sexual violation, he did not use force and the harm he has caused is psychological rather than physical.

Mother says families have been wrecked

The mother of two boys abused by James Parker says he has left a trail of wrecked lives and distraught families in his wake.

The woman says her boys are so angry, they punch holes in the walls of their home.

She says she and other single mothers are trying to help their children cope, while struggling with their own feelings of intense anger and guilt that they were sucked in by Parker and were unable to protect their children.

The woman says she and her friends, who are also solo mothers, thought Parker was wonderful when he offered to take their sons fishing and camping, as a father would.

She says the mothers have had virtually no help or counselling for themselves or their sons.