Paedophile teacher James Parker sentenced to preventive detention

Paedophile teacher James Parker has been sentenced to preventive detention today.

The former deputy principal of Pamapuria School in Northland was sentenced by Justice Paul Heath in the High Court at Whangarei after earlier admitting 74 sex charges relating to sleepovers with boys at his Awanui farm between 1999 and 2012.

Parker, 38, held his head in his hands and wept as the first of his victims read his statement to the court.

The boy said he first met Parker in 2008 and abuse occurred the next year.

"I told some of my own family members about it but they didn't believe me. They told me I was lying. I remember them saying 'he wouldn't do that'. This made me start to hate my family because they believed you over me," he told Parker.

After he made an allegation against Parker, he and a mate were pulled out of class by the teacher, who said he could lose his job because of what the boy had been telling people, the court heard.

"It was hard going back into your class and I remember crying and feeling like sh**. I remember even feeling bad inside like I had done something wrong."

Another boy said Parker had stolen his childhood.

"Every time I went to work on the farm I was worried he would do something to me. Often there were several boys there, but the abuse would only happen when I was there by myself.

"I would go home with a feeling of disgust and feeling dirty. I would spend a lot of time in the shower but even then I wouldn't feel clean.

"I hate him for what he's done and I will never forgive him."

One of the boys' mothers said she "almost died inside" when she found what Parker had done to her boy.

Crown prosecutor Michael Smith had submitted to Justice Heath that Parker should be given a sentence of preventive detention because of the risk he posed to the community.

"[His offending is], in many respects, without comparison in New Zealand's history. It is without comparison and defies summary."

Parker's lawyer Alex Witten-Hannah submitted a lengthy prison sentence would be adequate protection for society.

"The test for Your Honour is not what is the risk now but what is the risk likely to be at the end of the sentence."

In August last year Parker pleaded guilty to 49 sexual abuse charges, which prompted more complainants to come forwards.

In April this year he admitted a further 25 charges, including five allegations of sexual violation involving two boys, the most serious of the charges he faced.


- Northern Advocate

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