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Witnesses comment on Capill's demise

Fri 15 Jul 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

As the judge announced "Your life was a lie", Graham Capill's fall from grace was witnessed by a packed public gallery. Amongst the onlookers was a Christchurch woman who had been on the receiving end of Capill's moral judgement for years, dubbed "sexually perverted" for being a lesbian. As the spokeswoman for Lesbian Action For Visibility in Aotearoa, Ann Charlotte had been targeted by Capill's "moral authority" for years. Outside the courthouse, she commented on the sentence. "We're all accountable to live our lives. I hope he'll reflect on the words he's used against many sectors of society… He's had so much to say about paedophiles and so much to say about lesbians." Also at court was Denise Ritchie of the Stop Demand Foundation, a lobby group against child sex abuse. She applauded the sentence, but said Capill's statement in court did not include a public apology to his victims. The judge reserved his harshest condemnation for an email Capill sent to his supporters just over two weeks ago where he suggested some of the offending was consensual. "You have some remorse… but I consider your remorse substantially discounted by your email or June 27 where you in effect make mention of matters which, quite frankly, I find, bearing in mind your intelligence, quite unusual," the judge said. "It's nonsense to say there could be consent. What you did was premeditated." Denise Ritchie said Capill's rehabilitation could begin only when he had properly acknowledged the impact of his actions on the victims. Capill was sentenced to nine years prison with no minimum parole period. Paparua Prison sources said he was taken from court to begin his sentence in the medical block of the prison because of health reasons and for observation. Ken Clearwater of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse trust commented on the sentence "Regardless of how long Capill spends in prison, these girls will have their sentence for the rest of their lives." Prison officers spoke of their expectations for how the former Christian Heritage Party leader and Police Prosecutor will find his stay in prison. They expect his education would enable him to ingratiate himself to other inmates by offering legal advice, although he will likely be extorted by gang members for protection money. The judge denied Capill any reduction in jail term due to his public profile and the likelihood of retribution in prison, saying "you sinned against the victims on a very serious way." Graham Capill will be eligible to apply for parole after three years, but if repeatedly denied release, he could potentially serve his full sentence.    

Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff

First published: Friday, 15th July 2005 - 12:00pm

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