A West Auckland man who was acquitted three times since 1990 of violating young, drunk vulnerable men he befriended has now been jailed.

Glendene man Peter James Brooks, 53, was jailed for eight years after a jury found him guilty of "abhorrent" sexual offending against a 21-year-old man in 2016.

That verdict came after the victim - and the three complainants from previous trials - gave evidence about Brooks' predatory sexual offending.


Brooks was jailed by Judge Nevin Dawson in the Auckland District Court on Thursday following a trial in April.

The Herald can today reveal the details of that trial - including how three men Brooks was charged with violating in 1990, 1995 and 2013 were called to give evidence about what he allegedly did to them when they were teenagers.

Brooks was acquitted after trials for the alleged offending against those three men, but their evidence about encounters with him helped seal his fate.

In 2016 Brooks befriended a 21-year-old he met through his work.

The victim thought his older mate was a good bloke and trusted him.

The pair would hang out occasionally, and he never had reason to suspect Brooks' attention would turn sinister.

On July 3, 2016 the 21-year-old - a straight, single man - went out with friends in Auckland city.

He decided to go and hang out with Brooks, feeling bad that he had turned down an offer to socialise earlier in the week.

He messaged Brooks who offered to drive into the city and pick up the victim.

Peter Brooks has been jailed for eight years for sexually violating a man who he had befriended. The victim was drunk and incapable of resisting Brooks'
Peter Brooks has been jailed for eight years for sexually violating a man who he had befriended. The victim was drunk and incapable of resisting Brooks' "predatory" behaviour. Photo / Facebook

The victim had been drinking for a few hours and by the time he got to Brooks' home in Glendene he was intoxicated.

Brooks offered him a smoke of cannabis and the victim inhaled several times and then stopped.

He said he felt sleepy and the court heard he was "struggling to function".

He asked Brooks if he could sleep on the couch but the older man insisted the victim sleep in his bed.

Brooks told him it would be "warmer".

The victim went to bed and Brooks started to massage his back and shoulders and told him he was gay.

Judge Dawson said the victim felt "creeped out" by the situation and asked Brooks "what are you doing?".

He was drifting in and out of consciousness and was unable to stop the predator.

The Herald has chosen not to detail the specifics of the sexual assault out of respect to the victim.

He woke up at one stage to find Brooks performing oral sex on him.

Later, he woke to find Brooks having sex with him.

The court heard he "felt paralysed" and told Brooks to stop - but he carried on.

The victim kept blacking out and was "incapable of resistance", Judge Dawson said.

The victim reported the assault to police soon after.

Brooks denied the offending, saying he "reasonably believed" his victim had consented to the sexual contact.

Judge Dawson rejected that, saying Brooks' behaviour was "predatory" and he took advantage of the 21-year-old.

"You knew that he could not resist you," he told Brooks.

He said the violation was "abhorrent" and Brooks had grossly breached the young man's trust.

"At no time did [he] give any form of consent," he said.

"No one is entitled to satisfy their sexual urges upon unwilling and non consensual persons.

"The community are entitled to be protected from this type of predatory behaviour."

He said Brooks' offending had an "ongoing and detrimental effect" on the victim.

JJudge Dawson said Brooks had three previous convictions for indecently assaulting boys aged between 12 and 16.

The Herald can also reveal he has stood trial on three additional occasions in district courts around the country for offending against older teenage boys.

Like the 2016 victim, all of the boys were heterosexual and had been drinking before Brooks allegedly targeted and violated them.

Those three complainants, all now grown men, were called to give evidence at Brooks' recent trial.

The Crown successfully applied to call them as propensity witnesses - meaning they could tell the jury about the earlier trials.

Jurors are not usually given information about the previous criminal offending of a person on trial, but in Brooks' case the Crown argued it was necessary, that it showed his propensity to act in a particular way.

Brooks first came to police attention in late 1990.

Then 26, he was charged with sexual violation and indecent assault after an alleged incident involving a 16-year-old boy.

At the time Brooks was working as a presser in a shearing gang.

In September Brooks' shearing gang, including the 16-year-old, were working on a sheep station in South Canterbury and gathered in their quarters one night after dinner to socialise and have a few beers.

After a while the teenager felt "quite drunk" and went to bed.

He was alone in his bedroom when he went to sleep but alleged he woke in the early hours of the next morning to Brooks kissing his face and body.

The court heard that Brooks allegedly restrained the teenager, told him to "keep quiet" and started to have anal sex with him.

"The defendant then pumped his body into the complainant, causing him considerable pain," the summary of facts stated.

The teenager was eventually able to push Brooks off, pull his clothes - which had been removed while he slept - back on and run out of the room.

He immediately woke another man in the shearing gang and told him what had happened.

Police interviewed Brooks in December 1990 and charged him.

He denied the allegations and after a trial in the Ashburton District Court a jury found him not guilty.

In 1995 Brooks was charged again for offending that was strikingly similar.

He was 30 and living at Haruru Falls in the Far North.

In June Brooks allegeldy invited an 18-year-old to his home to help him study for his commercial launchmasters certificate.

The 18-year-old had obtained the certificate and was happy to help Brooks.

They studied for about half an hour and then Brooks allegedly got up, walked behind the teenager and started massaging his neck.

When told to stop, Brooks allegedly moved his hands down the teen's body .

The summary of facts states the teenager "freaked out", pushed past Brooks and left.

Two days later Brooks went to a local pub to watch a game of rugby.

There he met a 19-year-old tourist.

Brooks was sentenced last week in the Auckland District Court. NZ Herald photograph by Jason Oxenham
Brooks was sentenced last week in the Auckland District Court. NZ Herald photograph by Jason Oxenham

The game was delayed and Brooks allegedly invited the 19-year-old back to his house to watch it and stay the night.

During the game Brooks allegedly started rubbing the 19-year-old's thigh and then started to massage his neck.

The teenager was "very scared" of Brooks and jumped out a window to get away.

Brooks allegeldy tracked the teenager down the next morning, apologised and asked him not to tell anyone.

Six days later the 18-year-old who had tried to help Brooks study left the local pub and went home.

He locked all the doors but didn't properly secure the garage door.

At 3am he allegedly woke to find Brooks sitting on the couch where he was sleeping, touching his genitals and stroking his bottom.

"The complainant was extremely upset and frightened," the summary said.

"After 20-30 minutes he finally got the defendant to leave, but not before being told if he told anyone what had happened he would be hurt."

Brooks allegedly stayed in the house for another half hour before leaving.

The 18-year-old then ran to his mate's place and told him what had happened.

He went to the police hours later and reported the alleged incident.

Police spoke to Brooks, who sought legal advice and then refused to comment.

He was arrested and charged with three counts of indecent assault on a male and one of burglary.

The summary noted Brooks had "previously appeared for similar offences".

Again, the matter went to court but a jury found Brooks not guilty.

His next arrest came in 2013, when Brooks was 48.

It was a Saturday and Brooks had worked.

He invited a male colleague to his home and the pair were "relaxing" and watching TV.

At about 10pm the colleague told Brooks he was tired and he wanted to go to sleep.

Brooks told him he could sleep in his bed.

The man went to Brooks' bedroom and went to sleep, fully clothed.

He allegedly woke at 2am and found Brooks sucking his penis.

His pants and underwear had been pulled down as he slept.

Brooks allegedly asked the man if he could continue - but he "jumped up and began yelling" at the 48-year-old.

Brooks has three convictions for sexually assaulting young males, and stood trial an additional three times for similar offending but was acquitted. Photo / Facebook
Brooks has three convictions for sexually assaulting young males, and stood trial an additional three times for similar offending but was acquitted. Photo / Facebook

The summary of facts stated Brooks "began crying and stated that he was a bad person".

The man left the house and later texted Brooks demanding he resign and leave the company where they worked.

The day after the alleged incident, Brooks quit his job.

Meanwhile, the man reported the alleged incident to police.

Brooks was charged with sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.

He denied the charge and, for a third time, a jury acquitted him.

When Brooks went to trial earlier this year the three earlier complainants sat in the dock and recounted their evidence.

They broke down, the weight of what they had been through almost too much for them as they revisited the trauma again.

The 2016 victim also gave evidence about what Brooks did to him as he lay inebriated and powerless to stop it.

When a jury found Brooks guilty of the 2016 assault, the relief was palpable.
While he was never convicted of the 1990, 1995 or 2013 charges, for the first time the complainants felt that they had been believed.

They felt vindicated.

And they knew that, as hard as it was for them to relive what had happened to them so many years ago, they had done good.

Brooks would not be able to harm anyone else, because they refused to stop speaking up.

After sentencing this week the 2016 victim spoke briefly to the Herald and said he was very relieved it was over.

Shaking like a leaf, he said he was happy with the outcome - but more happy Brooks would not be able to victimise another young, vulnerable male.

He allowed the Herald to publish his Victim Impact Statement, which was read in court by Crown prosecutor Henry Steele at sentencing.

He told the court that he was a single, straight male and before the offending he was a "very sociable, personable and a friendly chatty outgoing guy".

"In the early hours of the morning my life changed forever,"he said.

"This act changed my life forever.

"Initially I was very upset and angry, pissed off at Peter and the world.

"I became very confused, wondering if it was my fault and questioning what I did to deserve this terrible act done to me.

"I felt disgustingly dirty and used, which made me feel sick to my stomach."

He explained how he became impatient and angry with his family, withdrawn and reluctant to speak about his assault.

"I felt embarrassed, I felt disgusted and this caused me to become depressed," he said.

"I began having flashbacks and couldn't sleep.

"The insomnia had its effect on me and just added to the depression.

"I had suicidal thoughts ... and became afraid of having social contacts.

"I would have frequent panic attacks in busy crowded areas both while socialising and also [at work]."

His family were supportive but he felt "pressured" all the time and moved out of home.

He feared that Brooks had given him a sexually transmitted infection or Aids.

Medication and counselling had helped him start to recover, but he said he was not even close to getting back to "normal".

"Hopefully with support I have had and my counselling I can once again find my place of belonging and try and move on from the darkness that still comes over me at times," he said.

"A darkness due to the horrible and evil action someone chose to do to me."

Detective Sergeant James Watson, the officer in charge of the case, said he was "pretty happy" with the result.

"Not just for [the victim] but also for the three previous victims who didn't feel like they had justice served then - but now they do.

"At trial they had to tell their story again and they broke down, it was like having two trials for them.

"They are rapt with the result."

Watson said it was important for people who had been sexually assaulted to let police know.

"The message I want to get across is that if you come forward and we don't get a conviction, this case shows that it's worthwhile because eventually, justice can be served.

"People like this predator don't change their spots, and they eventually get caught."

Do you need help?

If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.​

If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline on: 0800 227 233 (08002B SAFE).
Alternatively contact your local police station - click her for a list.

If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.