Community anger rises as sex offender moves near another school

By Simon Plumb, Simon Collins

A sex offender was placed within 10m of Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae school in Mangere, then at the end of May was moved into the same street as another school.
A sex offender was placed within 10m of Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae school in Mangere, then at the end of May was moved into the same street as another school.

Community anger is boiling after a "high-risk" sex offender was moved from a placement near one Auckland school to a house near another.

The Herald revealed last month that Corrections had placed the man in a house just metres from Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae in Mangere East. Students said they had filmed the man making hand and tongue gestures at them.

The placement was only temporary and he was moved on May 27, the week after his release from jail.

But he has now been placed in the same street as another school, Jean Batten Primary School, which called a public meeting last Thursday night to protest about it.

Judith Collins says the law does not allow her to give directions about individual offenders. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Judith Collins says the law does not allow her to give directions about individual offenders. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"There was some angry reaction about it," said principal Jeff Bruce. "The community is probably going to do a petition to have him removed."

He said Corrections officers told him on May 26 that the offender would be moving into his community the next day.

Corrections northern operations director Lynette Cave said the man was a "very high risk of imminent violent offending" and the department tried to get the High Court to grant a Public Protection Order (PPO), meaning the man would have had to live at a secure facility on prison grounds.

The High Court refused the application and issued a seven-year Extended Supervision Order (ESO) instead.

As well as 11 standard conditions, the Court imposed a further 10 interim special conditions which will remain in force until Corrections applies to the Parole Board for them to be imposed on a permanent basis.

"Public safety is our primary priority," Ms Cave said.

"This offender is subject to monitoring by two staff at all times. He is living at an address that includes locks, alarms and a two metre high fence. He is subject to electronic monitoring and is not able to leave the residence without the permission of a probation officer. His address does not overlook the street and is around 350m away from the school."

Is Mangere becoming a dumping ground for such people, that is the concern of the community.
Robert Kumar, parent

Mangere MP Su'a William Sio said the decision not to impose a PPO should be appealed.

"The department needs to appeal this and the Minister [Judith Collins] needs to make sure that appeal takes place," he said.

Ms Collins said the law did not allow her to give directions about individual offenders, but she said: "In general, I will expect the department to apply for a PPO in cases where it is appropriate, and likewise to consider appealing unsuccessful applications if it is appropriate in the circumstances and in line with legal advice."

Robert Kumar, who has two daughters at Jean Batten School, said the community was struggling to make sense of why a high-risk offender had been placed close to a school and where he has no connections.

"He is a high-risk sex offender being kept in Mangere, where he has no relatives or links to anyone. So why bring him to Mangere? And why keep him in the vicinity of the school?" Mr Kumar asked.

"Is Mangere becoming a dumping ground for such people, that is the concern of the community."

- NZ Herald

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