Five years' jail for 'depraved' sex offender

By Trevor Quinn -
Judge Stephen Harrop lifted name suppression for James Uren yesterday after the victims asked that Uren's name be made public. Photo / File
Judge Stephen Harrop lifted name suppression for James Uren yesterday after the victims asked that Uren's name be made public. Photo / File

A 64-year-old Masterton man has been sentenced to five years' jail for child sex offences described as "depraved" and "unforgivable".

James Francis Uren, a security guard, appeared in the Masterton District Court yesterday on seven charges relating to molesting two girls and a boy. He pleaded guilty to all seven charges.

The offending occurred at Napier over 13 years from the mid-1970s.

Judge Stephen Harrop lifted name suppression yesterday after the victims asked that Uren's name be made public.

Judge Harrop called the offences persistent and planned as Uren had often waited for the children's guardian to go to work before committing sexual abuse for "self-gratification".

"It's depraved, incomprehensible and unforgivable offending," he said.

One of the victims, who has children of her own, said after the sentencing she was happy with the sentence imposed and "elated" that justice had finally been done.

"It's been a long time coming, it was the final closure. It was very therapeutic ... " she said.

"I just couldn't live with the secret any more; it was affecting my marriage and my relationship with my children."

The homemaker said she was still aggrieved Uren had never said sorry for his serial offending.

"He's never looked me in the face and said, 'I'm sorry for ruining your childhood'."

Telling police about the abuse had been the best thing she ever did.

"I've got a whole new life. I never knew life could be this wonderful, I always had a shadow hanging over me," she said.

"Once he was arrested and people found out what he had done ... I wasn't blaming myself any more."

Judge Harrop said the abuse of power represented a serious breach of trust, which was so significant it was just short of murdering a child.

"Nothing the court can do and nothing you can do can undo the harm you caused in the past, in the present and into the future," he said.

Defence lawyer Louise Elder said Uren recognised the inappropriateness of his offending and there was genuine remorse. The abuse came to light in 1991 but no steps were taken against him at that time.

Ms Elder said Uren's wife was terminally ill and his imprisonment would have a detrimental impact on her.

Detective Sergeant Bill van Woerkom, who led the investigation, said he hoped the courage the victims had shown would encourage other victims of sexual abuse to speak up.

"It's important we believe and support victims who make these disclosures and we reinforce that the person who has done wrong is the abuser."

For more articles from this region, go to

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 25 Oct 2014 02:10:03 Processing Time: 1261ms