A 68-year-old man convicted of repeated sexual abuse of a teenage boy has gone to prison still denying that anything happened.

James Grainger, of Spreydon, was convicted of 16 charges at a jury trial in the Christchurch District Court and has been assessed as still posing a “medium-to-high” risk.

Judge Paul Kellar said Grainger had still shown no empathy for the victim, or remorse.

He jailed Grainger for nine years and six months after making allowances for his age and for having no previous convictions.

Published in Stuff

The jury found him guilty on 12 charges of doing an indecent act on a young person aged under 16, three of unlawful sexual connection with a young person, and one charge of sexual violation. Judge Kellar said the offending involved instances of masturbation, oral sex, and one anal rape.

The victim’s mother said she was reading “a survivor’s statement and not a victim impact statement”, and she chose to remember her son’s bravery through a trial and a retrial.

“Twice, he had to sit in court for two days and tell of the abuse in front of strangers, and be called a liar.”

She described the effect of the abuse on the whole family. “Living with a traumatised young person has deeply impacted all of us. The person he was before, was no longer with us.”

The abuse happened while the teenage boy was already struggling with concentration and learning. Grainger had threatened him and his family. “Unable to cope, he turned to drugs and alcohol,” the mother said.

She told Grainger: “I wish you could understand the depth of the pain you have caused. I wish you could understand how much damage you have done. The boy was already struggling and you have made it so much worse.”

Crown prosecutor Courtney Martyn said Grainger continued to show no remorse in his pre-sentence interview, and blamed the victim and questioned the integrity of his family.

Defence counsel Andrew McCormick said Grainger did not accept the jury’s verdicts and maintained the offending never happened. He was well regarded in the community, and as a friend and an employee. The lengthy jail term would weigh heavily on him, at his age.

Judge Kellar said Grainger’s offending damaged the victim and his family. There had been a degree of premeditation and planning and alcohol had been used to disinhibit the teenager, who had been aged between 13 and 15 when the offending happened. He had been “groomed or conditioned” to acquiesce in the conduct.

By David Clarkson
Published in Stuff
18 June 2019