The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 Jan-May

Television New Zealand
March 5 1993

Reporter Vicki Wilkinson-Baker

Former Civic Child Care Centre creche worker Debbie Gillespie has the last remaining charge of sexual violation against her dropped by the prosecution. The charge was dropped after the judge was told the child was unable to give evidence


00:00      I/V Debbie Gillespie, former worker at the Civic Child Care Centre in Christchurch re I have never abused a child in my life .

00:04      (SF)    GVs empty playground of the Civic Child Care Centre creche, Christchurch .

00:25      (LCT) 4 September 1992         

I/V Debbie Gillespie re we would like a reason, we would like to know why the centre has been closed down, it just seems so unfair .

00:16      WS four creche workers Janice Buckingham, Marie Keys, Gaye Davidson and Debbie Gillespie arrive at court .

00:22      I/V Debbie Gillespie re her reaction to being arrested, re total shock and disbelief I just never in a million years thought that that would happen, I didn't think it would go that far, I think the only way to describe it is being in total shock .

00:37      GRAPHIC initial charges faced by Debbie Gillespie, committing an offence in a public place with Peter Ellis, indecent assault, sexual violation .

00:46      (LCT) police van arrives at court with accused women .

00:50      (LCT) Debbie Gillespie goes into the court when first charged (IDENTITY OBSCURED) .

00:50      I/V Debbie Gillespie re it is an incredibly emotive issue, I mean if you were charged with theft or fraud or something like that then I am sure the emotion would not be the same, and it is just public outrage and horror that something like that might have gone on, I don't really expect to be physically abused in public but I would expect verbal abuse, I don't even feel strong enough to cope with that .

01:19      GVs four accused former creche workers (Janice Buckingham, Marie Keys, Gaye Davidson and Debbie Gillespie) get into van to get to the pre trial hearing

V/O Debbie Gillespie re I can't believe that the situation has gone this far, it is just completely untrue, I can't believe that the police have taken the word of children and some adults, I can't believe they have done that and not taken any trouble to find out the other side of the story .

01:52      I/V Debbie Gillespie re I feel like they have decided what has happened and made the case to fit that, I really feel that they are not interested in the truth .

02:00      GVs friends of accused women gather for a cup of tea

V/O Debbie Gillespie re I can't believe it especially when some of the people I felt were more than just parents, some were actually personal friends of mine and some of them I babysat their children .

02:28      I/V Debbie Gillespie re I can't believe that these people really think that I would have done things not necessarily with their child but knew of abuse that was going on and did nothing about it, or I have actually abused children myself .

02:41      WS four accused women walk towards CAMERA and into pre trial hearing .

02:50      GVs INT pre trial hearing-room .

02:59      I/V Debbie Gillespie re yes, I can definitely see why they would be upset, if they were true, or there was any evidence to suggest that they were true .

03:11      (LCT) 11 February 1993 WS women leave court after     END of pre trial hearing where Gillespie and the three other women are sent to trial .

03:24      (LCT) 11 February 1993 Gerald Nation, defence lawyer reads a statement to the press re every step will now be taken on their behalf that ultimately justice is done .

03:31      I/V Debbie Gillespie re standing on the step listening to Gerald read the press release and all the people standing around I just felt like I was in a daze, I just really could not believe it was happening .

03:45      WS Debbie Gillespie walks out of court and speaks to CAMERA re I am obviously very very relieved, I have a lot of mixed feelings and I'm extremely conscious of the ordeal that the other innocent women have yet to go through, so yeah, I've a lot of mixed feelings at the moment.    I/V Debbie Gillespie re no I don't (feel like a free woman) .

04:12      I/V Gerald Nation, lawyer re it has been a difficult time for months, it is over in one sense but in lots of ways it is not for this woman and I just ask you all to leave her alone .

04:37      I/V Nancy Gillespie, mother re what does she do for the rest of her life, her life is ruined .

04:42      I/V Murray Gillespie, father re our concern is that it is so easy to accuse someone and as has been explained in court the accuser can slip out from underneath without any qualms whatsoever .

05:07      I/V Debbie Gillespie re in the eyes of a lot of people we will never be innocent ever, they will just say that they did not have enough evidence to get them .

05:13      GVs Debbie Gillespie feeding ducks next to Avon River with young boy (not her son) .

05:27      END.