Dunedin sex offender who installed hidden cameras in toilets deemed too dangerous for parole

A Dunedin child sex predator who installed hidden cameras in toilets has completed specialist treatment for his predilections.

But despite the intensive therapy, Peter William Pearson (also known as Peter Ross) is still considered a “well above average or high risk” of future sex crimes, the Parole Board was told at a hearing last month.

The 53-year-old was jailed for six years, four months in 2018 after pleading guilty to a range of charges before the Dunedin District Court.

Pearson developed a friendship with a single mother in 2015, after which he was introduced to her 9-year-old son.

The child would stay at the sex offender’s home after school at least once a week, and later began spending the night there, the court heard at sentencing.

The sexual abuse started almost immediately and resulted in the victim displaying behavioural and developmental issues.

Pearson also gained access to a 10-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl after cultivating a relationship with their parents.

Between April and August 2016, he often had the children together at his home in Maryhill, the court heard.

Pearson invented a game through which the group would all end up naked in bed.

His crimes only came to light when depraved text messages were uncovered by one of the victim’s mothers on the boy’s phone.

Police raided the man’s home and discovered a trove of 130 objectionable images.

Among them was footage of a young boy using Pearson’s bathroom, four males using a Dunedin public toilet and people in the changing rooms of Moana Pool.

The Parole Board heard he had completed the Kia Marama sex offender programme in April and was currently participating in the graduate group.

While a psychologist’s report from June noted Pearson — who had previous sex and child pornography convictions — had increased insight into his “high-risk situations”, he still represented a significant risk of future sex offending.

Panel convener Tania Williams Blyth said the Rolleston Prison inmate had a limited support network outside the wire.

“He is motivated to remain abstinent and complete the alcohol and drug programme that he is attending,” she said.

Pearson will see the Parole Board again in March next year.

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