Surprise witness tells of seeing abuse:[2 Edition]
KEAST, John. The Press. Christchurch, New Zealand:Oct 20, 2006. p. A; 3
A surprise witness sobbed in the High Court in Timaru as she recounted seeing
former Salvation Army captain John Gainsford fondling a girl while giving her a
Christina Cullen, who contacted police on Tuesday after seeing publicity about
the Gainsford case, said she was metres from Gainsford as he fondled the girl
while talking to a woman. She said the woman would not have seen what Gainsford
Cullen said she was shocked by what she saw and her stomach knotted.
Gainsford, 69, has pleaded guilty to four indecency counts but denied 23 of
indecency and rape relating to his tenure as manager of the Bramwell Booth
children's home in Temuka, South Canterbury, in the 1970s.
Cullen approached Taranaki police after reading about the Gainsford case on the
Stuff news website.
Cullen said she was a St John cadet leader in Temuka at the time Gainsford
worked at the home, and took four girls to a barbecue.
As they were about to leave one girl said she wanted to live with her and not
go back to the home.
Cullen said she asked why, but the girl seemed reluctant to talk. She asked
again "and it was like a seal had been broken".
She said the girls bombarded her with information, saying Gainsford had touched
them. Cullen said the things they talked about they should not have known
Cullen said that when she took the girls back to the home they told her about
the piggy-back rides, and when she drove in she saw him with a girl on his
Cullen said the first thing she did was betray the girls' trust - - she had
promised to keep their secret -- by telling her supervisor. After the holidays,
Cullen heard Gainsford had left the home. Earlier, a complainant said Gainsford
used a blanket to hide his indecent touching during story time.
The former resident said Gainsford used to touch her indecently under the
blanket. Other children would turn the pages of the book.
She said Gainsford would wash the private parts of the girls at bath time, but
wash other parts of them if anyone came into the room.
One night, she said, she locked herself in the toilet all night after waking to
find Gainsford near her bed and her nightdress was up and pyjama pants down.
for a listing of alternate locations.