The brother of infamous Tauranga double killer Michael John Curran is now also behind bars awaiting sentence after being found guilty of repeatedly sexually abusing a young woman.

James William Curran, 36, had been on trial in Tauranga District Court this week and was found guilty of five counts of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.
Two of the counts are representative charges which means the offences happened at least once during the specified dates.

The offences were committed between 2013 and 2015.

Double killer Michael Curran, pictured, is the brother of Tauranga man James William Curran who has been found guilty of sexual abuse. Photo/file
Double killer Michael Curran, pictured, is the brother of Tauranga man James William Curran who has been found guilty of sexual abuse. Photo/file

After more than eight hours of deliberation the jury came back with a majority (11 to 1) guilty verdict.


The jury acquitted Curran on a further eight counts of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, and one count each of indecent assault and doing an indecent act on a young person which related to a second complainant.

James Curran was initially granted interim name suppression by Judge Thomas Ingram to protect his right to a fair trial, after his lawyer argued publication would be highly prejudicial. Upon conviction Judge Ingram lifted name suppression after an application from the Bay of Plenty Times.

The two complainants' identities are automatically suppressed, and so is the identity of the third prosecution witness.

Crown prosecutor Richard Jenson submitted to the jury that both complainants' testimonies had been "unwavering and compelling" despite robust cross examination by Curran's lawyers Rebekah Webby and Cate Andersen.

The young woman at the centre of the guilty verdicts told the jury James Curran abused her so many times it was difficult to remember all the exact times and incidents.

When Ms Webby put it to her that she had made everything up, the victim was adamant she was telling the truth.

"I'm not lying about anything. He did do it. I would never lie about this," she told the court.

When the second complainant was asked by Mr Jenson why she had disclosed the alleged abuses to a police officer last year rather than to another adult in the past she replied, because "I couldn't take it anymore".

During her closing address to the jury, Curran's lawyer, Ms Andersen, said that the close similarities in how the complainants described these incidents showed they had colluded in making up these complaints for their own ends.

That included both using the words "freezing up" and "zoning out" when questioned about the incidents.

She also argued there were inconsistencies in the complainants' oral evidence compared with their original video-taped interviews, showing the evidence of the complainants was "unreliable and implausible".

James Curran was remanded in custody for sentencing on December 9.

His brother, Michael Curran, is serving a life sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years and six months for the manslaughter of Tauranga woman Natasha Hayden, 24, and the murder of 2-year-old Tauranga youngster Aaliyah Morrissey.

Ms Hayden was strangled to death at McLaren Falls on January 10, 2005.

After being granted bail by a High Court judge on July 7, 2005, and while awaiting trial Michael Curran murdered Aaliyah on September 13 that same year.

The toddler was shaken, bashed and stomped on by Michael Curran while left in his care.
He was sentenced to one of the longest non-parole periods in the country's history and will not be out of jail until 2028 at the earliest.