Stal­wart re­vealed as sex abuser

Matamata Chronicle - - News - MIKE MATHER

For most Mata­mata res­i­dents who knew him, Colin Arthur was a prin­ci­pled and de­vout mem­ber of the town’s com­mu­nity.

A res­i­dent of the Waikato town for about 40 years, the pri­mary school teacher and, later, prin­ci­pal of Mata­mata Chris­tian School, was the or­gan­iser of the an­nual com­mu­nity Christ­mas lunch and a leader of the Mata­mata Bi­ble Church.

But the re­al­ity be­hind that per­sona was re­vealed in the Hamil­ton Dis­trict Court last Tues­day af­ter­noon, when Colin Wil­fred Arthur, 65, was sen­tenced to two years and six months’ im­pris­on­ment on a string of in­de­cent as­sault and un­law­ful sex­ual con­nec­tion charges.

Those charges stemmed from his per­sis­tent and pre­med­i­tated abuse against one vic­tim, an

in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­abled man whose care­givers Arthur be­friended.

Arthur’s of­fend­ing be­gan in 2012. He be­gan tak­ing the vic­tim on tramp­ing jour­neys and other ac­tiv­i­ties, first groom­ing the vic­tim by talk­ing about sex­ual mat­ters and then mo­lest­ing him on many oc­ca­sions.

Be­fore Arthur was sen­tenced by Judge Philip Con­nell, the court

heard two vic­tim im­pact state­ments, one from the vic­tim’s guardian and one read out on be­half of the vic­tim him­self – who was in court to hear the fate of his abuser first hand.

In his state­ment, the vic­tim - who has a mild in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity and also suf­fers from at­ten­tion deficit dis­or­der and post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der - said Arthur had warned him not to tell his care­givers what was hap­pen­ing.

‘‘I still have night­mares. I’m so bit­ter and an­gry, I wish you had never come into my life ... I hope I can for­get about it.’’

More de­tails were re­vealed by the vic­tim’s guardian, who with his wife, had taken on his care in 2009. ‘‘We found no rea­son to doubt your in­tegrity. Most of [the vic­tim’s] time with you ap­peared to be sub­tle groom­ing, fol­lowed by men­tal, phys­i­cal and sex­ual abuse ... us­ing your over­whelm­ing in­flu­ence and power.’’

Dur­ing the on­go­ing abuse Arthur had asked the vic­tim to call him ‘‘dad’’.

‘‘Our sen­tence be­gan on April 7, 2014, when [the vic­tim] told us of your of­fend­ing,’’ the care­giver said. ‘‘You be­trayed the God you pro­fess to serve ... We have yet to wit­ness full ac­count­abil­ity or re­morse for your ac­tions.’’

PHOTO: MIKE SCOTT/FAIR­FAX NZ

Former school prin­ci­pal and Christ­mas lunch or­gan­iser Colin Arthur has been sen­tenced to two-and-a-half years im­pris­on­ment for abus­ing an in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­abled man.

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