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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 charges.
The offending occurred at Napier over 13 years from the mid-1970s.
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 said.
"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 more."
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 forward.
"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