A child-sex offender placed on paid gardening leave by his council employer has used his salary and year off work to build a new home.
Building inspector Andrew John Gray, 41, was stood down on full pay by Masterton District Council in August last year after he was charged with sex offences against a 10-year-old boy.
He pleaded guilty last month to most of the charges — as well as to possessing child pornography — and will be sentenced next month.
He received his full salary — understood to be about $65,000 — until last week.
The father of his victim has labelled the situation as ‘‘bullshit’’, saying Gray has prospered while he and his family have suffered.
On Friday, Gray admitted building the Rosewood Gr house while on gardening leave, but would not comment further apart from saying there were things about the history of the development that were private.
He said it was a nice house ‘‘on a nice quiet street’’.
Similar properties on the same street have rateable values upwards of $315,000, and are estimated to be worth about $400,000.
Masterton District Council chief executive Wes ten Hove said the council was obliged by law to be a good employer.
That meant living up to its Bill of Rights obligation that everyone had the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty — ‘‘unpleasant as that may be’’, he said.
‘‘When he was found guilty, he ceased to be an employee.’’
Gray lost his job on August 17.
Gray pleaded guilty last month to one charge of unlawful sexual connection with a boy, one of indecent assault, and to 43 charges of possession of sexual images of children.
The offending involved performing oral sex on the boy, and touching his bottom after playing strip poker in Masterton in 2011.
He denied a further representative charge of indecent assault on the same victim.
The father of the victim said he was aware of Gray’s development, and that Gray had also started developing land he owned north of Masterton.
‘‘It makes me incredibly angry,’’ he said.
‘‘He’s had all this time and money up his sleeve, and now he’s got a flash new house to move into — it’s like the whole thing was calculated.
‘‘It’s bullshit, we’ve pretty much lost everything ... I haven’t been able to work because I’ve been so angry with everything.
‘‘We’ve only just started to get our lives back on track.’’
The family often saw Gray around Masterton, he said.
‘‘I see him almost on a daily basis, and every time he smirks at me like you wouldn’t believe.
‘‘My son sees him too and he’s terrified.’’
Gray will be sentenced at Wellington District Court next month
- © Fairfax NZ News
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