Serial girls’ home abuser denied parole

Prisoner Edward Anand, pictured at his sentencing in 2016, failed in his first appeal to quash a...
Prisoner Edward Anand, pictured at his sentencing in 2016, failed in his first appeal to quash a jail term of 13 years but claims to have ‘‘new evidence’’. PHOTO: ODT FILES
A Dunedin social worker who abused eight victims at a city girls’ home in the 1980s continues to claim he is innocent and refuses to undergo treatment while behind bars.

Edward Anand (71) was jailed for 13 years in May 2016 after being found guilty at trial of a slew of charges featuring victims between the ages of 10 and 15.

At sentencing, the offending was described as "brazen and ongoing" throughout Anand’s employment at the former Elliot St girls’ home from 1980-86.

Despite more than four years behind bars, the prisoner was unrepentant, according to a Parole Board decision released this week.

When Anand saw the board for the first time last month he maintained his innocence, panel convener Kathryn Snook said.

While the man was a minimum-security inmate and had given staff no issues with his behaviour in Tongariro Prison, he had done no counselling or treatment.

"Mr Anand confirmed to the board today that he is not interested in completing any programmes because he is innocent," Ms Snook said.

"We note, too, that Mr Anand’s denial of the offending appears unlikely to change."

The prisoner appealed his five convictions for rape and seven for indecent assault at the Court of Appeal in 2017.

He challenged the sentence, too, but his argument was roundly rejected by the court.

Justices Murray Gilbert, John Lang and Rebecca Ellis dismissed Anand’s claims that the jury may have been prejudiced and confirmed the prison term was deserved.

"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," Justice Lang said.

"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 told the Parole Board he was working on a second appeal because he had "new evidence".

Ms Snook asked for a psychologist to assess the prisoner and come up with recommendations for potential programmes should the man maintain his denials.

Anand will appear before the board again by December.

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