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Jordan Described As `Swindler Of Innocence'

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Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 9 NZPA - A sexual predator who was yesterday jailed indefinitely was described today as "a confidence trickster".

New Plymouth crown solicitor Tim Brewer, who has been prosecuting Peter Robert Jordan for more than 20 years, said the 64-year-old Waitara man was very good at swindling young people out of their innocence. Jordan, who has a 30-year record of sex offences against teenagers, was sentenced to preventive detention, with a non-parole period of 12 years, when he appeared for sentence in the High Court at New Plymouth.

Jordan had set himself up as a youth counsellor in the Taranaki town of Waitara and his offences included 15 counts of rape against three boys and other attempted violations and assaults .

He was found guilty by a jury after a week-long trial in February.

Passing sentence, Justice Geoffrey Venning said Jordan's offences, mostly against boys, dated back to 1978.

Justice Venning said the description of sexual predator was too widely used, but fitted Jordan perfectly.

The effect of his offending, which was only broken in the last 30 years when Jordan was in jail, could not be understated, he said, adding that many of the victims often went on to become drug addicts and offend criminally themselves.

Mr Brewer said the justice system dealt with people who swindled other people out of their money -- " old people, vulnerable people".

"Jordan swindles vulnerable young people out of their innocence and he was very good at it," Mr Brewer told Radio New Zealand.

He believed Jordan's victims numbered more than a dozen, although he was aware that some police officers would consider the number to be conservative.

Asked how Jordan had got away with his offending for so long, Mr Brewer said: " If you prey on the vulnerable then you've got a pretty good chance they won't complain."

Mr Brewer said that in the early days of Jordan's offending the law treated his offences in the much the same way burglary was treated.

"(The law says) you've done a bad thing so we're going to give you a penalty of this amount and once that penalty's finished with we don't want to hear from you again.

"Well, now we don't," he said.

"The law has changed ... we say you're showing that you're dangerous and we're going to be very much more careful about letting you back on the streets.

"And the law now has tools that give the courts the power to impose supervision, extended supervision, yes, we keep a string on people," Mr Brewer said.

Yesterday's sentence was greeted with relief from some of Jordan's victims who were in court, although some still felt some trepidation that one day he might be released.

"I just hope he is never let out," a victim, who cannot be named, told the Taranaki Daily News.

"I wished the non-parole period could have been longer because he should never, ever be let out."

The officer who headed the investigation against Jordan, Detective Carole Tipler, said she was angered because he refused to show any remorse.

"He needed to have preventive detention, otherwise he would carry on happily offending," she said.

"It is sad for the victims because he will not acknowledge that he has offended and to say police had coerced victims into giving evidence, it's just a load of nonsense, absolute nonsense."

Preventive detention, the country's highest sentence, is reserved for the worst offenders.

To be released, Jordan will have to satisfy a parole board he poses no danger to society.

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