New abuse charges for deputy principal

Last updated 15:04 12/11/2012
COMMUNITY BETRAYED: James Parker, 37, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a dozen boys while he was deputy principal of Pamapuria School in Kaitaia.
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COMMUNITY BETRAYED: James Parker, 37, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a dozen boys while he was deputy principal of Pamapuria School in Kaitaia.

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The former deputy principal of a Northland primary school faces new child abuse charges after eight more victims came forward.

James Parker, 37, admitted in August that he sexually preyed on students when he pleaded guilty to 49 sexual offences involving young children.

Eight more victims have come forward since then and the former deputy principal of Northland’s Pamapuria School now faces a further 23 charges, police said.

They involve eight charges of an indecent act on a boy aged under 12, four for an indecent act on a boy aged between 12 and 16, four charges for sexual violation and seven charges for indecent assault.

Parker would appear on those charges in the Kaitaia District Court on Thursday.

The majority of the charges relate to activity over the last six years, police said.

His previous charges also relate to children aged under 16 and occurred over nearly eight years while he worked at Pamapuria School.

Suspicions first arose in 1999 that Parker was a potential predator when he started teaching on a provisional licence.

Concerns were lodged then with the Teachers Registration Board, now known as the Teachers' Council.

"We had contact in 1999 from the school and there were concerns raised about his professional boundaries," the council's head Peter Lind said at the time the initial charges were laid against Parker. 

"But the school did not want those concerns taken any further and his application to move from a provisional registration to a full registration was made by that school some months later."

Police had told Pamapuria School that Parker should not have pupils staying at his house overnight, Parker's lawyer Alex Witten-Hannah said in August. But the school did nothing constructive with the warning and that is when most of Parker's sexual abuse began, Witten-Hannah said.

In 2009 police warned the school about Parker after a complaint from a child via a parent, but police could not gather enough evidence to prosecute Parker so decided to write to the school to alert trustees.

It was revealed in August that the school failed to act for three years on the warning or tell the Education Review Office about potential problems around Parker.

The school's board has stood down and commissioner Larry Forbes has been appointed.

After his guilty pleas in August, Parker made a statement apologising to his victims and to the community.

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"My crimes have also had awful and drastic consequences for my school, community, students, staff, parents, board of trustees and my principal - you have all been directly victims of what I have done.

"As a teacher and deputy principal I held a position of great trust; my actions betrayed that trust."

- Stuff

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