Capill guilty of worst kind of hypocrisy, says party leader

A day after former Christian Heritage party leader Graham Capill pleaded guilty to a raft of child sex charges, the new leader of the party says Capill is also guilty of the worst form of hypocrisy.

Capill, 46, yesterday pleaded guilty in Christchurch District Court to rape, unlawful sexual connection, and three counts of indecent assault against two girls under 12.

Earlier this year he pleaded guilty to indecent assault against another girl.

From 1991 until 2003 Capill led the Christian Heritage Party and today the new leader of the party, now called Christian Heritage New Zealand, Ewen McQueen, said Capill's actions had tarnished the party.

"I also know most people have been able to separate Graham's actions from the party," Mr McQueen told National Radio.

"Like all New Zealanders we're all rather appalled at the charges that Graham has pleaded guilty to...also people are outraged that these things had been going on while Graham had been the leader of the party.

"To have been saying the sort of statements that he made for the number of years he said them while at the same time committing these crimes, it really is the worst form of hypocrisy."

Mr McQueen said Capill had left the party as he hadn't liked the way it was heading and it now had a new leadership and more positive way of portraying its message.

He said people would need to see some repentance before forgiving Capill.

Capill was yesterday remanded in custody for sentencing in July.

A friend of Capill's, Vic Pollard, said today he would support him and his family as best he could.

"He is I believe repentant before God, (and) well aware of the effect it's got on the victims," Mr Pollard told National Radio.

He said Capill's family were supportive of him.

Mr Pollard expected Capill would be targeted in prison and would need protection.

University of Canterbury sociologist Greg Newbold also said Capill would be a target in prison. "He's a bit of a sissy. Any bully will have a whack at him," said Dr Newbold, himself a former inmate for drug offences.

"He won't get badly beaten up, I wouldn't imagine that, but his life would be quite miserable.

"People would be insulting him and maybe slapping his face," he said yesterday.

In court yesterday, it emerged that the two victims of the latest convictions had known each other for years but had never spoken about the sexual abuse.

For one of the girls, being sexually abused by Capill was her earliest childhood memory.

For the other, Capill was the minister at the Christian college she attended and the groping began when she was eight, offending which eventually ended in rape.

The two girls knew each other but the alarm was not raised until on the day of the second victim's wedding.

The first girl was her bridesmaid and while getting changed out of her outfit, Capill barged into the room despite being told not to.

After the incident she told Capill's wife what had been going on but the police only became involved after a third girl, now aged 11, complained to her pastor about repeatedly being touched sexually by Capill when she was eight.

Capill was convicted in April of indecently assaulting her.

- NZPA

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