Two women are furious that the man who abused them is seeking financial damages from the Sensible Sentencing Trust. PHIL KITCHIN reports.
Two Christchurch victims of a serial paedophile fighting to keep his name secret will ask a judge to lift suppression of their names, as they join a legal battle to prevent the man getting compensation for an alleged privacy breach.
The women are furious that taxpayers will fund the Office of Human Rights Proceedings' prosecution of the Sensible Sentencing Trust for revealing the predator's name - but it won't fund a lawyer to represent them.
One victim said she and fellow taxpayers were paying for a paedophile to continue "the abuse", because he still denied his guilt, despite his multiple sex convictions.
It beggared belief that an independent office from within the Human Rights Commission was fighting to protect his privacy, and wanted him compensated, when no court record existed of him having final name suppression, the women said.
"He robbed me of my childhood and murdered my innocence," one of them told Fairfax.
They believed the man was "cowardly" for trying to keep his name secret, saying paedophiles who did not admit their crimes usually reoffended, and there could be other victims who had not spoken to police.
"Robbers and murderers don't get name suppression, so it's just as important that these people are stopped," one victim said. "He gave up his right to privacy when he abused innocent young girls and was convicted in a court of law."
The paedophile - who was earning about $150,000 a year in a chief executive role until he was outed - said in a sworn statement that he did not commit the crimes for which he was convicted in the mid-1990s and sentenced to a year's jail.
"He still doesn't see what he did was wrong, which means he is still a danger and able to abuse further," one victim said.
"It is just so wrong on so many levels that he 'deserves' money from his abuse of us years ago."
The man complained to the Privacy Commission after the Sensible Sentencing Trust named him on its website. The commission passed the case to the Human Rights Commission.
The man and the Human Rights Commission's director of proceedings, Robert Kee, want the trust to pay damages for allegedly interfering with his privacy.
The victim said neither the Privacy Commission nor the Office of Human Rights Proceedings contacted her "to discuss any of this ... instead they chose to accept his word he has name suppression".
It beggared belief that government- funded agencies "are helping him to be paid for the abuse he inflicted on us".
Police have already paid the man about $15,000 and an officer is understood to have lost his job after details of the paedophile's criminal record were given to a third party, who gave them to the Sensible Sentencing Trust.
The lobby group, which relies on public donations, is fighting the prosecution as a test case on the contentious issue of name suppression, and has described the issue as "namby- pamby nonsense". A date for a hearing has not yet been set, but the man has been granted interim name suppression.
The two victims, who live in Christchurch, came forward after the stoush was revealed in April, and they will appear at the hearing on the alleged privacy breach.
Next week the two women - relatives who were sexually abused in 1975 and 1978 when aged 10 and 14 - will ask at a separate hearing for name suppression granted to all victims of abuse to be lifted in their cases. They do not want the man to argue that, if he is named, their identities could be presumed.Fairfax NZ
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