John Francis Gainsford
From the Timaru Herald 28th October 2006
Seven days of trial and 10 hours of deliberation by the jury and John Francis Gainsford was found guilty on all but one of the sexual abuse charges he was facing. The former Salvation Army officer was late last night found guilty on 22 sexual abuse charges involving children at the Bramwell Booth Children's Home in the 1970s. In the High Court at Timaru the jury found Gainsford, 69, guilty on three counts of rape and 19 of indecencies. He was found not guilty on one indecency charge. Gainsford stood impassively in the dock as the verdicts were read. Justice Fogarty remanded Gainsford in custody until December 11 for sentencing. He then thanked the jury for what had been an onerous trial and discharged them from jury service for three years.
Gainsford had pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault on girls under 12 and a charge of inducing a girl under 12 to perform an indecent act, at the start of the high court trial a fortnight ago. Completing his summing up yesterday, counsel for Gainsford Paul Dacre suggested to put a child's hand over his penis in such a public place as on a bus full of children, defied logic, referring to one complainant who had alleged just that. As to the alleged assault on the male complainant, Mr Dacre told the jury the evidence was quite outrageous - whether or not it was true. He described it as a brutal assault. It was the most sustained of the assaults described by the complainants. It would have had to have occurred on a Saturday morning and in a public area of the home, meaning the complaint could not be credible. "It could not have happened without people hearing. It was monstrous activity which simply can not have been correct.
He told the jury Mrs Gainsford's evidence was one of the most important witnesses, noting it had not been questioned. "What was said in her presence 30 years ago was correct then, and correct now. It was the truth of what was going on in the home. Her statement to the court told of a meeting with a senior Salvation Army officer, of Gainsford being asked if there had been any penetration, and his response had been "definitely not". In his summing up Justice Fogarty had warned the jury that just because Gainsford had pleaded guilty to four charges they could not assume he was guilty of them all. While there was no suggestion the complainants had concocted a story to make false allegations, they had been very young girls and had talked about what was going on. Justice Fogarty advised the jury to watch for "borrowed recollections", asking whether the complainants could have got their memories from "girl talk" involving those who Gainsford had admitted indecencies with.
From the NZ Herald 21st December 2006
A former Salvation Army officer has been sent to jail for 10 years after he raped and indecently assaulted young girls in his care 30 years ago. In the High Court at Timaru yesterday, Justice John Fogarty sentenced John Francis Gainsford, 69, to 10 years' jail on three rape charges, and one year on a charge of indecent assault. The terms were to be cumulative, but the judge deducted a year on account of Gainsford's age and health. He was also sentenced to a jail terms ranging from three to seven years for indecency, which were to be served concurrently. Gainsford, 69, had been convicted of three charges of rape and 19 of indecency after an eight-day trial in October. He had admitted only four counts of indecency but a jury found him guilty on all but one of the charges.
The offences occurred at the Bramwell Booth Children's Home in Temuka, South Canterbury, during the 1970s and came to light this year. Justice Fogarty allowed one of the victims to read an account of the effect Gainsford's offending had had on her life. She said she and the other children had been lonely and vulnerable. The children at the home had never been allowed to grow up as other children did, and the things that happened to them had been over their heads. She said Gainsford, then a Salvation Army captain, was a hypocrite. "You have been found a paedophile now, and you always have been one." Gainsford, dressed in a dark jacket, white shirt and tie, stood impassively throughout the hour-long sentencing. He gave a faint smile to a relative as he left the court.
Date of Birth
1937 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to ten years in December 2006
Paroled February 2010
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Parole for child abuser appals
John Francis Gainsford Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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