Allegations of Abuse in Institutions

Salvation Army Homes - Main Index

Index 2006

One News
October 16 2006

Former Sallies captain on trial

A former Salvation Army captain has gone on trial in Timaru for historic sex abuse.

While John Gainsford, 69, has admitted assaulting some students in his care in the 1970s, he is defending most of the charges he is up against.

And at the start of the hearing, he entered guilty pleas to four counts of indecent assault on two girls.

But he is denying 23 charges of rape, attempted rape and violation of another six former pupils.

The abuse allegedly happened while Gainsford was manager at the Bramwell Booth children's home in Temuka, just south of Timaru.

The crown alleges the rapes and assaults took place mainly in and around the children's home. 

The prosecutor told the court Gainsford would isolate the children purely for his sexual gratification, and touched them during bath times, giving them piggy back rides and while he was reading to them in bed.

Gainsford left the home early in 1975. The crown says that was because Salvation Army authorities were alerted to his offending.

But it was not until last year when the first complainant contacted police.

The trial is expected to continue another two weeks and all eight complainants, now in their 40s, will be giving evidence.