The Dominion Post August 16 2003. ‘I am sick of being called a liar’ by Linley Boniface
“A decade after the Christchurch Civic Creche sex abuse trial, two of the children whose evidence has now been called into question by supporters of Peter Ellis tell Linley Boniface why they feel betrayed.”
“Tom and Katrina were pivotal to the Crown case against Ellis. In June 1993, Ellis was found guilty of 16 out of 25 charges of sexual abuse of seven young children (three of the convictions were quashed a year later, when one child withdrew her allegations). Three of the convictions related to Tom and four related to Katrina. Ellis was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and served seven.”
“Katrina’s dad, Gavin, says he finds it frustrating that transcripts can be taken out of context, without any of the intense scrutiny that occurred during the judicial process. “The jury was able to see the children giving evidence on video. They watched very young children go through the anxiety of remembering things that were very painful to them. They didn’t just hear the words; they were able to see the children’s body language. They were also able to see that the children backed up each other’s stories.”
“Many of the children involved in the case were said to have suffered behavioural problems, including nightmares, tantrums, bedwetting, separation anxiety, fear of men, sexual disorders and toileting problems. For a year and a half before the abuse was uncovered, Katrina was terrified of going to the toilet.”
“Both families ask repeatedly why everyone seems to believe Ellis, despite the fact that his case has already been through a jury trial, two appeals and a ministerial inquiry. And they ask why so many journalists seem happy to report everything Ellis and his supporters say without bothering to ask the victims' families for comment.
They also point out the irony in the fact that Ellis has a well-run and well-bankrolled campaign behind him, while the families don't even have a legal representative.
The families believe A City Possessed tells only half the story –Ellis’ half — and were particularly angered by a recent comment by Hood that the children deserved to “know the truth and go forward into adulthood with the whole thing sorted”. Tom says the matter is sorted already “We were there, we know it happened. It’s not easy to live with, but I could live with it if everyone didn’t keep bringing it up all the time. The only closure I want is for Peter Ellis to admit he did it.”
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