Editorial: How did evil last so long?

By Craig Cooper

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Sometimes in a small town, things are done a little differently.

Things get done the small town way.

Mostly, it tends to happen around people with money. Or power.

Which is why James Parker's offending has been invoking bewildered head shakes around the country.

Twenty victims - that's almost the size of a classroom.

Over 13 long years. Three hundred offences.

How the hell did this weedy-looking scrag of a human being get away with this for so long?

When police were worried about him. When his school's board of trustees had his odd behaviour drawn to their attention. When it was well known that he liked the company of children, more than most decent adults.

Parker's sentencing of preventive detention this week will have invoked a wide range of emotions.

Some will find solace in it. Others might be left cold.

No matter what happens to Parker, it will not change the damage he did to his victims, and his community.

The person who stood up, to bring Parker down, should feel immense pride in their courage.

Any person who came forward should feel that pride. And try to call on it when some of the other emotions that surround paedophilia, like guilt and shame, rear their heads.

Because it's something that Parker - who should never feel pride again - can't take away from his victims. Their pride in bringing him down.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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