Neville Cyril Collins
Sentenced to eleven years in September 2007
Parole declined January 2014
Has next hearing July 2014
NZ Herald story here
NZPA story 21st September 2007
Former Boys' Brigade leader, ambulance officer and professed Christian, Neville Cyril Collins, grossly breached the trust of young boys he sexually abused over a 14-year period, a High Court judge said today. "They had no idea what to do about it. They looked on you as a father figure," Justice Pamela Andrews said when she sentenced the 44-year-old father of two to 11 years in jail on 37 charges. "This offending is totally unacceptable in New Zealand society."
She said she was "saddened" by the answer one of the six complainants gave at Collins' trial when asked why he did not stop his abuser. "I couldn't. I just hoped he would finish and it would all go away," was the response. Another victim said: "I simply had no say in the matter. I was violated. The physical pain was excruciating." In written victim impact reports handed to the court, the complainants – now aged between 21 and 35 – expressed feeling dirty, embarrassed, ashamed and angry over what happened to them. "He took my innocence, my trust and confidence," said one. Further victims told of losing their dignity, becoming sexually confused, having suicidal feelings and difficulty with relationships.
Using public toilets or sleeping bags was still abhorrent for one. Two of the victims, along with supporters, sat quietly at the back of the court for the lengthy sentencing. Crown prosecutor Rob Ronayne said in his submissions that Collins, a Boys' Brigade leader and organiser of a training camp called Exercise Novice Warrior, would pick prepubescent or "barely pubescent" boys. He often befriended their parents, then offered to take the victims to camps around the North Island, on car trips alone with him, or to stay at his place overnight to watch videos.
"These victims were particularly vulnerable," said Mr Ronayne. "He became a trusted friend." There was a strong element of pre-meditation and "grooming", he said. The offending was predatory and prolonged. "As he became less involved with one victim he would find another, almost as a replacement." The offences, which included sexual violation, indecent assault, attempted indecent assault, assault and performing an indecent act, took place between 1984 and 1998, when one boy went to the police.
Collins then spent the next nine years categorically denying everything, until a jury found him guilty, Mr Ronayne said. Defence lawyer Matthew Ward-Johnson said it was "very difficult to find anything in mitigation." Collins' remorse and apologies had come "in the 11th hour", he said. "Rather more the 12th or 13th hour," replied Justice Andrews. Dressed in a smart suit, silver haired Collins surreptitiously wiped a finger under each teary eye as the judge handed down sentence in the Rotorua High Court.
He had become increasingly fidgety during her summing up. The judge said the trial involved further suffering for the victims, whom Collins accused of lying. Collins had told a pre-sentence report writer that he was abused by a relative when he was younger – something that should have given him an idea of what his victims were going through, she said. "You said you did it to make them happy. As you know, it had entirely the opposite effect." His wife, who had stood by him, described him as a good husband and devoted father.
Date of Birth
1963 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Boy's Brigade leader jailed for sex offences
Neville Cyril Collins Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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