A 64-year-old Masterton man has been sentenced to five years
in jail for child sex offences described as "depraved,
incomprehensible and unforgivable".
James Francis Uren, a security guard, appeared in Masterton
District Court yesterday facing seven charges relating to
molesting two girls and a boy. He pleaded guilty to all seven
The offending occurred at Napier over 13 years from the
Judge Stephen Harrop lifted name suppression yesterday after
the victims asked that Uren's name be made public.
Judge Harrop said the offences were persistent and planned as
Uren had often waited for the children's guardian to go to
work before committing sexual abuse for "self gratification".
"It's depraved, incomprehensible and unforgivable offending."
One of the victims, who has children of her own, said after
the sentencing she was happy with the sentence imposed and
"elated" that justice had finally been done.
"It's been a long time coming, it was the final closure. It
was very therapeutic, I feel like I can close the book," she
"I just couldn't live with the secret any more, it was
affecting my marriage and my relationship with my children."
The homemaker said she was still aggrieved that Uren had
never said sorry for his serial sexual offending.
"He's never looked me in the face and said, 'I'm sorry for
ruining your childhood'."
Telling police about the abuse was the best thing she could
have done, she said.
"I've got a whole new life. I never knew life could be this
wonderful, I always had a shadow hanging over me," she said.
"Once he was arrested and people found out what he had done,
the shadow went away. I wasn't worrying or blaming myself any
Judge Harrop said the abuse of power represented a serious
breach of trust, which was so significant it was just short
of murdering a child.
"Nothing the court can do and nothing you can do can undo the
harm which you caused in the past, in the present and into
the future," he said.
Defence lawyer Louise Elder said Uren recognised the
inappropriateness of his offending and there was genuine
remorse. The abuse came to light in 1991 but no steps were
taken against him at that time.
Ms Elder said Uren's wife was terminally ill and his
imprisonment would have a detrimental impact on her.
Detective Sergeant Bill van Woerkom, who led the
investigation, said he hoped the courage the victims had
shown would encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come
"It's important we believe and support victims that make
these disclosures and we reinforce that the person who has
done wrong is the abuser. While we commend his guilty plea,
more importantly we need to applaud the courage of the
victims who have spoken up."
- Trevor Quinn of the Wairarapa Times-Age