Trinity Mount Ministries

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Former Foster Carer jailed For 12 Years For Sexually Abusing Children

by David Clarkson

Rex Lawrence Wilson, 64, has been jailed for sexually abusing children.

"I hate you and I hope you burn in hell," a sex abuse victim told former Child, Youth and Family Services (CYF) caregiver Rex Lawrence Wilson before he was jailed for 12 years.

The 64-year-old's two victims – he was found guilty at an eight-day Christchurch District Court jury trial in January – both read emotional victim impact reports at his sentencing in the same court on Wednesday.

Judge Paul Kellar said the two women, now aged in their 20s, had been done "incalculable harm" over six years of his offending.

"I was singularly impressed with both of them during the course of the trial, and even more so today."

He said the offending was "about as serious as it gets".

A jury had found Wilson guilty of 15 charges: two charges of rape, 12 of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault on a child aged under 12.

One complainant said she refused to be a cowering "rape victim" and asked how Wilson felt now that he was a "victim" himself of the criminal justice system. She said she saw no remorse or shame from him.

After his offending, which ended when she was aged 13, she had turned to drugs, alcohol and self-harm and she had tried to kill herself more than once. She was now a mother.

The other complainant, also now a mother, told of turning to drugs and alcohol to try block out what he had done.

"You ruined my life," she told him, but now said she had an amazing partner and beautiful children.

She said she hoped that what she had done in reporting Wilson to police would inspire other victims to speak up and be heard.

"I have no idea when the nightmares will stop and the depression will go away," she said.

At the end of her statement, she abused Wilson across the court room, telling him: "I hate you and hope you burn in hell."

Defence counsel Andrew McKenzie said Wilson faced a long jail term at an advanced age and would not be released until he no longer posed a risk.

"He will have to move a long way from his stance now, for that to be no longer the case."

He told the court Wilson planned to appeal the convictions.

Judge Kellar made an allowance for Wilson having no other relevant convictions, and for his age, which reduced his sentence by four years, to 12 years. He imposed no non-parole term, but said the likelihood was that Wilson would not be eligible for parole unless he showed some significant remorse.

CYF is now known as Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children. Its Canterbury regional manager, Blair McKenzie, said he was "appalled by this situation".

"I want to acknowledge the bravery of [Wilson's] victims, who have taken great steps to ensure this offender has been held accountable for his crimes."

An allegation was made against Wilson in 2007 and the child was removed from his care as soon as CYF was made of aware it from police. No further children were placed in Wilson's care.

Before the allegation, about 15 children had been in the care of Wilson and his wife.

CYF worked with police to assess whether there was further need for criminal investigations, and no charges were laid at the time.

McKenzie said Oranga Tamariki's caregivers underwent an extensive vetting process, which included assessment by trained social workers, personal and professional character references, and the usual police checks.

"I don't believe someone like Mr Wilson would pass the Oranga Tamariki assessment process."

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