David Ian Bach
NZ Herald story here
Found guilty in the Rotorua High Court of 11 sexual offences against three girls aged six, seven and eight. He had pleaded not guilty to 16 charges in all, was found not guilty on five. Bach's lawyer told the court his client was a playmate for the three girls and "played inventive fun games with them". He said there was no sexual abuse and the girls had told "lie after lie" to CYFS interviwers.
The Crown Prosecutor told the jury Bach had befriended the children's mothers and offered to babysit the three girls. He had paraded naked in front of them and allowed them to sleep in his bed when there were spare beds. Bach had a conviction in 1997 for sexual indecency offences committed in 1996. His response to rehabilitation had been unsatisfactory. A pre-sentence report stated Bach first gained the trust and confidence of the victim's mothers "to facilitate his nefarious intent" and that he was a serious risk to public safety. Justice Potter said Bach's offending was "planned, subtle and sinister".
From Brian Harmer's WYSIWYG News August 2001
A Mount Maunganui man has been jailed indefinitely for sex offences against young girls. 43-year-old painter David Bach has been sentenced to preventive detention in the High Court in Hamilton on 12 charges, including indecent assault and sexual violation involving four young girls. The judge referred to the offending as "planned, subtle and sinister". His lawyer, Tony Balme, says that his client has a right of appeal, and is still considering the matter. David Batch has previous convictions for sex offences and his house at Mount Maunganui was earlier the subject of an unsolved arson attack.
From the Dominion 20th August 2001
David Ian Bach was frightening proof of the old adage that you should never judge a book by its cover. Bach, 43, was a classic paedophile, a man who carefully and callously groomed his victims - a predator of the worst possible kind. Hiding behind a helpful and caring demeanour was, by all accounts, a sly, cunning man who lured innocent children into deviant sexual activity under the noses of their unsuspecting families.
From 1996, Bach built up a catalogue of offences involving girls under the age of 12. But before his first 18-month term of imprisonment in 1997, he had never had so much as a speeding ticket. "May", whose real name cannot be revealed, wished she had listened to her instincts, the nagging inner voices that told her Bach had worked his way into her life too quickly, was too friendly and seemed more interested in her daughter than herself.
"He was the boyfriend of a friend of mine ... he offered to look after my daughter after she was invited to his son's birthday party. Then he turned up at my place and I thought: `What the heck's he doing here?' He must be lonely for friends. "He was just too fast. I knew there was a problem, but I didn't know what it was. I thought I was just being paranoid, so I let him take her to the park." Unwittingly, May paved the way for her eight-year-old daughter to become another of Bach's victims.
Like the other parents he so carefully singled out, May had endured trying personal circumstances in the months before. "He greased up with how good he was with children, he came on like a rash. I just got sucked in and gave him the benefit of the doubt." But May's faith in humanity proved ill-founded. Her happy-go- lucky little girl became uncharacteristically moody and tearful. Then she began soiling her pants.
A desperate May tried talking to her. "She wouldn't even look at me for a while. When I finally broached the subject, she told me she had been sworn to secrecy. He had taken her to the Tauranga Domain, to the beach and apparently to his house." Horrified, May asked Bach's girlfriend if she had noticed anything unusual about her partner. "She just avoided the subject. But I had such black anger in me I could have killed him myself. So I waited till morning and contacted Child, Youth and Family."
Meanwhile, another friend - who also had a young daughter - had told police of her own concerns about Bach. Within days, members of a specialised team of detectives discovered Bach's latest exploits involved not one, but four girls aged between five and eight. Detective Lew Warner described how Bach "groomed" the girls by showering them with affection, treats and gifts, encouraging physical contact with rough-and-tumble games and taking the children to his home, where he walked around naked.
Photographic evidence showed several pairs of shorts - which Bach wore without underpants - with the linings and pockets strategically cut away. "Once the children had become accustomed to his nudity, he progressed to inappropriate touching, leading them to believe it was normal," Mr Warner said. "Eventually, people visiting his home became concerned when they found him inside with the children and the doors locked. The mothers were distraught, though one had her suspicions anyway. There were strong similarities between the way Bach sought out his victims this time and his offending in 1996, such as aligning himself to at-risk families."
Bach was subsequently charged with 11 offences, including multiple counts of indecent exposure, sexual violation, indecent assault and inducing an indecent act. Though Rotorua psychiatrist Gil Newburn found Bach to be suffering from depression, reports from court-appointed Waikato psychiatrist Alexander Simpson and an unnamed probation officer were damning. In recommending preventive detention, crown prosecutor Rob Ronayne told the court that Dr Simpson had found no evidence of depression.
What he discovered, in fact, was quite the opposite. In Dr Simpson's experience, depressed men usually felt extreme remorse at any wrongdoing and readily accepted blame. Bach showed no such remorse and had continued to deny all but one count of his sexual offending, including the offences he had pleaded guilty to in 1997. Bach also denied any interest in little girls, though once referred to them as "my mates". There was no hope of rehabilitation.
Despite voluntarily completing an extensive rehabilitation programme before his court appearances in 1997, Bach had continued to offend. If anything, his offending was worse. "The prisoner's lack of insight and absence of remorse and victim empathy, with low motivation, aggravates the risk of reoffending. His paedophilia is nothing short of alarming," Mr Ronayne said. "... the prognosis in terms of improvement is (according to Dr Simpson) very poor ... (and) the probation officer considers the prisoner to represent a serious danger to public safety."
Today, May's child, now nine, is a lot better, according to her mother, though she still has mood swings and continues to undergo counselling. "Things bring it back - smells like aftershave, bald people who look a bit like him, or even someone's way of walking. Guys like him give kids a lifetime of misery, yet last time he only got 18 piddling months," May said. "Counsellors can't perform the miracles required here - he has to a degree ruined her psyche. The long delay in getting to court also affected her."
Date of Birth
1958 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced in 1997 for his 1996 offending for an unspecified period
Sentenced in August 2001 to preventive detention for at least 10 years
Eligible for parole (a year on remand) August 2010
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links David Ian Bach Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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