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Edward Anand (72) was jailed for 13 years in May 2016 after being found guilty at trial of numerous charges featuring victims between the ages of 10 and 15 – but continues to protest his innocence.
At a Parole Board hearing last month, the Tongariro Prison inmate said the Criminal Cases Review Commission had accepted his case.
The commission, which was unveiled midway through last year, was set up as an independent entity for anyone who believed they had suffered a miscarriage of justice regarding their conviction or sentence.
Within five months of its inception, the statutory body had received 125 applications from people who wanted their case reviewed.
Nearly half of those applications, like Anand's, regarded sexual offending.
Anand told the Parole Board he expected his case to be referred back to the Court of Appeal but had no idea how long the process would take.
“Mr Anand maintains his innocence and is not interested in rehabilitation,” panel convenor Tania Williams Blyth said.
“He has no intention of participating in any courses, although he is happy to complete a safety plan with a psychologist.”
At sentencing, Anand’s offending was described as ‘‘brazen and ongoing’’ throughout his employment at the former Elliot St girls’ home from 1980-86.
The prisoner challenged his five convictions and sentence for rape and seven for indecent assault at the Court of Appeal in 2017 but his arguments were firmly rejected.
‘‘Mr Anand’s conduct was premeditated. It involved a significant element of grooming because he understood the complainants’ backgrounds and used that knowledge to gain their trust,’’ the court said in its judgement.
‘‘Some of the offending also involved Mr Anand providing the complainants with gifts, such as cigarettes, before offending against them. The offending has also resulted in what the judge described as
‘incalculable harm’ to the victims.’’
Anand was provided with a statement from one of his victims who had written to the Parole Board.
He refused to comment on its contents.
Ms Williams Blyth had no hesitation in declining early release.
“He is untreated and does not have a release proposal,” she said.
Anand will next so the board in December; his sentence ends in March 2029 when he will be 80 years old.