Sex abuse accused's identity revealed

CALEB HARRIS
Last updated 12:29 09/07/2014
Godfrey Ball
HISTORIC CHARGES: Godfrey Ball, 78.

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The face of a 78-year-old former scout master charged with sexually abusing boys can now be seen, after a judge allowed photos of him to be taken. 

Former bus driver and scout master Godfrey Ball, also known as Geoffrey Ball, appeared in Masterton District Court this morning over offences against three boys alleged to have been carried out between 1964 and 1985 in Wellington. They were then aged between seven and 16.

Ball appeared in the same court twice last month on 12 representative charges including indecent assault, sodomy and doing indecent acts, and was granted bail after initially being remanded in custody. He was not granted name suppression but his lawyer Louise Elder successfully argued against media applications to take photos and video of him standing in the dock; these were granted today by Judge Barbara Morris. 

Ball appeared frail and leaned forward as the judge spoke, saying ''I'm sorry, I can't hear you.'' His lawyer Louise Elder told the judge he had very poor hearing in one ear. 

Elder said Ball needed more time to read the ''extensive'' disclosure documents provided by police. Police prosecutor sergeant Neill Ford said police also wanted more time to continue their inquiries. 

Detective Damian Doocey of the Masterton Child Protection Team said last month the investigation continued and police were concerned that there may be more victims who are yet to come forward.

''There may well be people who remember important information which could assist police,'' Doocey said.

He urged anyone with information to contact the Masterton Police Child Protection Team on 06 370 0309 or their local police station.

Judge Morris remanded Ball on continued bail until September, when he will be required to plead.

Neither Ball nor supporters who were with him in court wished to comment.

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