Graeme Andrew Upchurch
From the Dominion Post 20th October 2007
A Judge says he is sceptical that a man who admitted sexually abusing five children had confessed to the full extent of his crimes. Graeme Andrew Upchurch, 38, was sentenced in the High Court at Wellington yesterday to five and-a-half years jail on eight sex charges and one of supplying alcohol to minors. He must serve at least 60 per cent of the sentence.
His lawyer, Mike Antunovic, asked for Upchurch's name to be suppressed because of the likely impact of publication on his family, but Justice Forrie Miller refused. If Upchurch's name was published other victims might come forward, the judge said.
He added that he shared a psychiatrist's scepticism of Upchurch's claim that he had disclosed all of his offending. Crown lawyer Claire Boshier said the offences were uncovered when the mother of one of the teenagers Upchurch had given alcohol to complained to police.
The investigation led to complaints from two boys and three girls, aged nine to 15, although without a confession from Upchurch police would not have identified one of the victims. He pleaded guilty in June to four charges of unlawful sexual connection, two of sexual conduct with a young person, two of indecent assault, and one of supplying alcohol to minors. The judge said Upchurch's victims, who included a girl who he gave piano lessons to in the 1990s, had been groomed and manipulated.
The judge said Upchurch (who groomed and manipulated his young victims) volunteered to attend a sex offenders' treatment programme but did not complete it apparently because of work commitments. Dr Jane Freeman, a clinical psychologist with the Department of Corrections concluded that there is a "high risk" of committing further relevant sexual offences while in the community. Justice Miller however said Upchurch expressed a "high level" of motivation to address his offending, and has shown remorse for its impact on his victims and his family.
From the Dominion Post 17th November 2007
A model train enthusiast who sexually abused boys for more than 50 years was derailed when another paedophile, with whom he shared a victim, was caught. Jeffrey Joseph Driver was jailed for seven years yesterday - the second member of the Hutt Valley Model Railway club to be convicted of child-sex crimes.
Driver, 73, of Lower Hutt, admitted 10 charges including indecent assault of three boys - all members of the club - in the past seven years, sexual violation, and creating and possessing objectionable material. Police say he has admitted offending since he was a teenager and are alarmed he could have done so for as long as he did without being detected.
They say the case is a reminder to parents and those who run groups for children to be vigilant against such offenders, who gravitate toward such organisations. "I think it's appalling that a person can sexually offend against children from their teenage years, for nearly six decades, and not be detected or authorities advised," said Detective Sergeant Tusha Penny, who headed the inquiry.
Driver was involved in the Silver Stream Railway Museum, St John Ambulance Cadets, Wellington Sun Club, Lower Hutt Repertory Society, Hutt Operatic Society and Wainuiomata Little Theatre. He was a Scout leader in Island Bay, Berhampore and Hunterville and had been involved in the Scouts in Masterton.
"There's absolutely no need for parents to stop doing these activities, but there's always a need for vigilance." Driver's offending came to light after the model railway club's treasurer Graeme Andrew Upchurch was arrested.
Upchurch, 38, was sentenced to five and-a-half years jail last month after admitting sexually abusing five children, two boys and three girls aged nine to 15. At least one was a member of the club. Police say one of the boys Driver groomed from the age of 10 was later abused by Upchurch. Driver, a small man whose face is usually dwarfed by his glasses, cried in the dock at Wellington District Court yesterday.
Prosecutor Tom Gilbert said Driver abused one of his victims every second weekend for the past seven years, since the boy was 10 years old, paying him small amounts of money, up to $20 after most incidents. He also photographed the boy, collecting 114 mostly naked images of him, often with small model cars and model trains nearby. Driver added these to a collection of child pornography that numbered more than 2000 images. Mr Gilbert told the court Driver had admitted he had always known he was a paedophile."This is predatory offending by an old man on very young boys."
Driver's lawyer Louise Sziranyi asked the court to consider his age, early guilty plea, his lack of criminal convictions, and his remorse as mitigating factors. Judge Peter Butler was dismissive of Driver's claim that one of his victims had initiated the sexual contact.
He said Driver, who had been married 43 years and had three children and six grandchildren, had caused his victims significant harm and was considered at high risk of reoffending. He told Driver not to approach his first parole hearing with confidence. Police believe Driver and Upchurch may have had more victims, and Ms Penny urged anyone with more information to speak to police.
Date of Birth
1969 (D.O.B. is approximate)
At large in Fielding
Also known to frequent Marton and Upper Hutt
Three Strikes Status
Jeffrey Driver (deceased)
Sentenced to 5 years 6 months in October 2007
A 3 year 6 month non-parole period was imposed
Released August 2011
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Graeme Andrew Upchurch Sentencing Notes
Paedophile preyed on model train fans
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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