The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 June-Dec

Sunday Times,
June 20, 1993

Another male creche worker earlier accused of abuse by Ellis accuser
by Alan Samson

Another male crèche worker was last year accused of sexually abusing children at the Christchurch Civic Centre crèche by the same woman who initiated action against civic centre crèche worker Peter Ellis.

That accusation was made after the civic centre case had flared, but was quickly dismissed by police.

By the time of the woman's complaint the man had moved to work in another crèche. He has since chosen to stop working in child care.

The woman linked him with a name that recurred in some of civic centre children's supposed disclosures, even though that was not his name.

Former civic centre workers have told the Sunday Times the woman had also distributed photographs of the man she was accusing to crèche parents.

Detective Sergeant Bob Hardie, who was involved in the investigation, said he would not comment about the second case except to say it had to do with identifying a person named in the Ellis case and "ultimately it was a negative inquiry"

The Sunday Times has since learned the complainant had a long association with abuse and therapy organisations before she made her civic centre allegations.

She also had strongly and genuinely held views about the extent and nature of child abuse.

In depositions to the court she described herself as a "part-time community consultant"  who for 3 years - till recently - had been a drug and alcohol therapist at a rehabilitation centre.

Her partner also worked at the centre.

The Sunday Times has documents showing her to be a founding member of a private abuse therapy organisation, START - Sexual Abuse Therapy and Rehabilitation Team Society. She also acted as an unofficial social worker for families involved in the civic centre abuse charges till a professional was formally appointed. She led several parents meetings after abuse was first alleged saying she had lots of resources and information about sexual abuse.

In her court evidence she said the inappropriate behaviour displayed by her child related to sexual abuse, rather than any depression she, the mother, was suffering from.

The death of her child's grandfather, who had been close to the child, was also dismissed as a possible reason for the child's behaviour.

She said those things "marked" what had happened to her child but had not been the cause.

Though the child's comment to his parents "I do not like Peter's black penis" sparked the inquiry, the child subsequently refused to disclose any form of abuse.

The mother's explanation for this was that the child had been videotaped by crèche workers during their abuse of the child, who had since had a fear of video cameras.

The woman, who could not be reached for comment, is believed to have left Christchurch.