Stalwart revealed as sex abuser
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.’’
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.