Serial convicted sex offender – former school principal – could be up for release soon

Stuff News (20/05/13) reported: “A former school principal imprisoned in 2010 for more than eight years for sexually abusing [male] students could be released as early as August 2013”. He was first seen for a parole in May 2013, but the hearing was carried over until August. The Parole Board Report released its report on 6 August 2013 and turned down his request for parole. He is next to appear before the Board for another hearing in July 2014.

Back on on 1 August 2010 The Sunday Herald reported. “A convicted offender is still registered on the New Zealand Teachers Council website despite being convicted for molesting boys in two different schools in the early 1990s…. Elvis Dobson Shepherd was suspended  on full pay in November 2007 after being charged with sexually abusing students at both Hato Paora (St Paul) College [at Chelterham in Feilding] and Hato Petera College [in Northcote] Auckland.”

[See: Reg. No. 177105. Mr Shepherd's teacher registration was eventually cancelled and he was recorded on the Teachers Council website as under "censure", but not until some months after he was sentenced to a jail term of eight years and four months in September 2010].

Elvis Dobson Shepherd, 52, also known as Tihirau, was found guilty on 30 July 2010 on two counts of sexual violation by oral sexual connection and two counts of indecent assault while he was teaching Te Reo Maori in an experimental total immersion unit at Hato Petera College, a Maori Catholic boarding school on Auckland’s North Shore, in the early 1990s. [Prior to that he had taught for some time at Wellington High School in the Te Reo Maori language – total immersion unit].

At the time of his sentencing in September 2010, Shepherd, was principal of Feilding’s Hato Paora College and was promoted to the position in 2002 despite warnings from Hato Petera.

When the allegations first surfaced in November 2007 he was stood down as principal on full pay and remained on full until  he was sentenced in September 2010.

He was also charged with sexual abuse against Hato Paora students, but two separate juries could not reach verdicts in relation to some of the charges while he was found not guilty of others.

When sentenced Shepherd’s continued lack of remorse and denial of the proven charges was noted.

In a parole decision the board noted there were still “question marks” over Shepherd’s insight into his offending.

“For example, the psychologist referred to his limited empathy for the welfare of the victims and an overemphasis on meeting his own needs, which were said to have been likely to have precipitated the offending.”

But a comprehensive proposal put forward by Shepherd and his whanau that involved him completing the SAFE Programme for sexual offenders while in the community had merit, it said.

However, the address put forward for Shepherd to reside at had not been put to probation for consideration so could not be considered.

The board postponed the meeting until August 1, 2013 so Shepherd’s whanau could organise a hui with probation, the SAFE network and other interested parties so discussion could take place about the release proposal and his acceptance of the offending.


Sex offender could be up for release

Story by Shane Cowlishaw

Stuff News 20 May 2013

No Parole for ‘deviant’ principal

Story by Sam Boyer. 7 August 2013.

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