Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Live updates: Sentencing of Far North paedophile - TVNZ

updated 11:56

Published: 5:16AM Thursday August 15, 2013 Source: ONE News

James Parker appearing in court. (Source: ONE News)

James Parker appearing in court. - Source: ONE News

Follow live updates of the sentencing of Far North deputy principal James Parker in the High Court in Whangarei this morning.

11.50am: Community leader: Jamie Parker has breached the goodwill, the good intent of the Pamapuria settlement.
The people who extended and encouraged him to come and work with the children now regret the very day they met James Parker.

11.40am: "He's the biggest manipulator I've ever seen in my life, getting away with it for this long and the nasty crimes that he's done."
"I've got no remorse for what I say about him, whatever he gets he deserves, that's all I can say about the mongrel." - father of victim.

11:30am: Defence submission: With the appropriate counselling, he will never re-offend.
There is a low to moderate risk of re-offence.
Seeking a finite sentence to allow Parker to receive the appropriate help.

11:20am: Crown submission: What your honour is dealing with today is without comparison in New Zealand's history. It is inherently violent.
This prisoner preyed on young boys. He ingratiated himself into families and into the community.
He continues to try to justify and minimise his offending.

11.15am: "Jamie stole my childhood from me". "I hate him for what he's done. I won't ever forgive him".

11:00am: "You are a very cold, lying, calculating, deceiving person". "You stole their innocence and you stole their childhood" - victim's mother.

10.55am: "Jamie was more than a teacher to me. He was a family friend. I looked up to him. I always thought of him as someone I could trust."

10:50am: James Parker is sitting in the dock with his head in his hands, while listening to the emotional victim impact statements about his abuse.

10.45am: "I think you're sick," victim tells Parker.

10.35am: A boy has tearfully read his victim impact statement at the sentencing of paedophile James Parker in the High Court in Whangarei this morning. One boy, while crying, explained how scared and angry he has become. He said his family originally didn't believe that Parker had abused him, calling him a liar.
He said he "felt bad inside, like [he'd] done something wrong".

10.30am: Sentencing is underway for the man accused of abusing of 20 of his students over 13 years.

Background

One of New Zealand's worst paedophiles, the former Far North deputy principal pleaded guilty to 74 sex charges over  the abuse of 20 of his students between 1999 and 2012 while he worked at Pamapuria School in Kaitaia.

Parker faces a sentence of preventive detention which could see him jailed indefinitely.

Victims and their families are at the sentencing and some of have chosen to read impact statements.

Parker was deputy principal at the school last July when he was arrested for paedophilia. He was heavily involved in the school's kapa haka movement and popular among students and staff.

The 38-year-old, whose parents are British, immersed himself in the Maori culture and became fluent in Te Reo.

The local community came to trust and respect Parker, giving him the title "Uncle Jamie".

He would take male students home for "marae-style sleepovers" in the weekends and go away with them on school trips.

Concern about Parker's behaviour was raised in 2009 when boys from a kapa haka group complained about inappropriate touching by Parker. Parker was spoken to by police and stood down from school while police investigated.

He denied everything and the boys later withdrew their complaints. Parker returned to the school.

Police later wrote a letter to the then principal of Pamapuria School, Stephen Hovell, urging him to stop Parker taking the students to his house, saying the behaviour was "inappropriate". However the offending continued for four more years.

Mr Hovell has since lost his job at Pamapuria School and the Board of Trustees has been dismissed.

"The community still hasn't got up from all the pain and the hurt and hate that he's caused, they're still  left in this big space and were trying to recover from it a year later -  we still haven't recovered," community leader Ricky Houghton says.

Matt McLean and Helen Castles are in Whangarei updating this story for ONE News throughout the day.

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