Graeme Robert Beveridge
Christchurch Press story 6th April 1997
An assistant manager has been found guilty by a Christchurch District Court jury of sexually abusing two young girls more than 15 years ago while acting as their babysitter. Graeme Robert Beveridge, 49, had denied representative charges of indecent assault and doing an act intended to insult or offend, and a specific charge of doing an indecent act in relation to the first complainant between 1979 and 1981. He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting the second complainant but acquitted of two other charges of indecently assaulting her between 1979 and 1982. Judge Graeme Noble remanded Beveridge on bail for sentence on September 18th.
Christchurch Press story 19th September 1997
A hard-working family man's refusal to acknowledge that he sexually abused two young girls while babysitting them up to 18 years ago contributed to his being sent to jail by a Christchurch District Court judge yesterday. Graeme Robert Beveridge, 49, an assistant manager, was found guilty by a district court jury of representative charges of indecently assaulting obe girl and doing an act intended to insult or offend her, and a specific charge of doing an indecent act. He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting a second girl. The offences occurred between 1979 and 1982.
Judge Graeme Noble said the offences merited a 12 month jail term. "In my view it is necessary before a term of imprisonment can be suspended for the court to have careful regard to the issues of reformation and acknowledgement of offending. This is simply not an appropriate case for the term of imprisonment to be suspended." he said.
The two women, then aged around 10 to 12 years, had told the court that they either hid under their beds or pretended to be asleep to avoid Beveridge when he babysat them. He was then aged in his thirties, They did not discuss their experiences with other until 1982, when their parents were told. The Police were not contacted until 1995. One of the women, now aged 29, said coming to court would help put the events out of her mind so she could get on with her life.
Mr Hall, defending, said the indecencies were "at the very lowest end of the scale" and the activities of Beveridge were not sustained. "He is a family man and he is clearly not a danger to his own family. There is no suggestion he is active at the moment. He has held down a responsible job. His offending can be seen as out of character. "He is now marked as a sexual molester of children. No sentence of this court can erase his public humiliation, a mark that has been made on him forever" Mr Hall said.
Judge Noble said the case was "tragic" for all involved including Beveridge, a father of two adult children, who in all other respects presented as a normal and responsible citizen. However he said that some of the offending was very serious and it constituted a gross breach of trust. Beveridge's choice not to acknowledge the offending prevented him from either apologising or showing contrition, the judge said.
Date of Birth
Indecent assault of two Christchurch girls aged 10 and 12 from 1979 to 1982
Sentenced to 12 months in September 1997
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