Parker could face jail for life

By Mike Dinsdale


The Crown will seek preventive detention - an indefinite prison term - for paedophile Far North former deputy principal James Parker when he is sentenced in August.

The case of former Pamapuria Primary School deputy principal James Robertson Parker, 38, was for callover in the High Court at Whangarei yesterday, after he earlier pleaded guilty to sexually abusing boys in Kaitaia.

Parker's appearance was excused from yesterday's hearing and he was remanded in custody to reappear for sentencing in the court on August 15.

Parker entered guilty pleas late last year to the first tranche of 49 charges charges of sexually abusing boys during sleepovers at his Awanui farm. They were 16 counts of doing an indecent act on a boy aged under 12; 24 of indecent assault on a boy aged 12-16; four charges of sexual connection with child aged under 12; and five charges of sexual connection with a young person aged 12-16. The charges involved 15 boys.

Last month Parker admitted another 25 charges - five of sexual violation; 14 of performing an indecent act; and six of indecent assault; 15 of them laid representatively.

All the charges were laid indictably.

The offences were committed between 1999 and 2012.

During the callover yesterday, crown prosecutor Mike Smith said he would seek a term of preventative detention for Parker when he is sentenced in August. Given the number of charges, sentencing could take up to a whole day.

Preventive detention is an indeterminate life sentence, and is handed down to individuals convicted of violent and/or sexual crimes (such as sociopathic murderers, serial rapists or recidivist paedophiles) where it is likely that the offender will reoffend if released. Such individuals will receive parole only if they can demonstrate they no longer pose a threat to the community.

Preventive detention has a minimum non-parole period of five years in prison, but the sentencing judge can extend this if they believe that the prisoner's history warrants it.

The longest non-parole period on a sentence of preventive detention in New Zealand is one of 26 years given to Graeme Burton, who killed two people and injured four others between 1992-2007.

- Northern Advocate

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