Michael William James Gray
From the Southland Times 10th March 2004
An Invercargill man had caused havoc to the lives of five young boys he sexually abused and there was a high risk he would continue to offend if he did not receive treatment, Justice Panckhurst said in the High Court at Invercargill yesterday. Michael William James Gray, a 51-year-old Invercargill waste water treatment plant operator, was sentenced to preventive detention, with a minimum jail term of five years, after he had admitted 10 charges, including sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault.
Justice Panckhurst said the offending took place over 10 years from 1994 against five boys aged between nine and 14 at the time, and included acts of nudity, fondling, masturbation, oral sex and simulated anal intercourse. Pre-sentence reports by a psychologist and forensic psychiatrist found Gray had "a limited degree of empathy" for the victims. "Instead your focus was a self-centred one relating to your own predicament," Justice Panckhurst said.
Earlier, Gray was allowed to address the court. "I want to say to the victims that I have hurt, that it's not their fault and that it's my fault and I accept responsibility for that. I want them to understand that they did nothing wrong. "I betrayed their trust, I betrayed everybody and I have hurt so many people and I would just like to say ... I will never forget what I have done and, for what it's worth, I won't forgive myself, either."
Justice Panckhurst said he had a "measure of sympathy" for Gray, who had himself been a victim of sexual abuse. "But I am afraid, in the end, faced with offending of this kind ... my focus must be on the safety of the community and young boys." Gray had a history of sexual offending dating back to the late 1960s, although there was a 20-year period of no offending, between 1974 and 1994. However, his last period of offending had been progressive and sinister.
Justice Panckhurst said Gray had entered early guilty pleas, sparing the boys from court appearances to give evidence. Gray was also an ideal candidate for treatment, he said. "Your fate is in your own hands." If Gray accepted treatment and changed, "you will be released." However, that would not happen for at least five years and was at the discretion of the parole board, Justice Panckhurst said.
Date of Birth
1952 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to preventive detention with a 5 year minimum non-parole period in March 2004
Sentenced to preventive detention with a 5 year minimum non-parole period in October 2005
Both sentences are to be served concurrently
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Michael William James Gray Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
|Event Date||Event||Court Location||Offence Type||Offence Date||Committed While||Sentence Imposed|
|6-10-2005||Sentencing Date is approx||High Court Invercargill||Indecent assault on a boy under 12 years old||08-06-2002||Preventive Detention||▼|