Staff member told Dilworth student his alleged abuser was a 'great guy'

Laura James
Source: 1News

A former Dilworth student, who’s accused his former teacher of a sex crime, was told by another senior staffer his alleged abuser was a "great guy", the High Court in Auckland heard on Tuesday.

Leonard Cave, 75, is on trial for 14 charges, including indecent assault and supply of drugs, dating back to 1970.

An alleged incident in the 80s was never reported to the school by one complainant, and he says it’s possible his decision not to take action was influenced by his conversation with a senior staff member.

He says the chat, which featured praise for Cave, took place in the school carpark.

Adding, “I was fairly well indoctrinated to the school by then and I didn’t really want to make too many waves.”

Dilworth School in Auckland.

The complainant’s sister also gave evidence today, and pointed to the school’s response.

Her brother only told her about the alleged incident in the last decade but said he recounted being called to the carpark.

She said there, "he was told he was never to mention it again, the school knew about it and chose to ignore it."

The offending alleged by the former student happened on Waiheke Island.

He told the court that he was invited to his teacher’s bach on several occasions, as has been the case with two other alleged victims who’ve already given evidence.

READ MORE: Dilworth teacher allegedly plied students with booze during island getaway

The complainant said, “he would pick me up in his car, we’d go down to the ferry, go to Waiheke, from there, get the bus down to the bach.”

On their final trip to Waiheke together, before Cave left Dilworth in 1985, the pair allegedly went for a long walk together on the beach, armed with a large bottle of whiskey.

Where to get help.

“Probably spent a couple of hours knocking around down there,” the alleged victim recalled.

He believes it was the first time he’d consumed spirits, and said, “before too long I was extremely inebriated”.

He claims he became very sick, threw up on the beach, and was unable to walk.

The jury heard that Cave then piggy-backed the student back to his bach.

Shortly after, the complainant said the defendant appeared before him naked. That’s when he alleges, he was induced to perform an indecent act upon him.

“I felt subservient towards him, due to my long relationship with him being my teacher and choir master."

He says he never discussed the alleged incident with Cave, or anyone else, until telling his sisters in the last decade.

“I didn’t feel like I was in a position to be questioning much, I didn’t want this exposed either,” the alleged victim said.

The complainant is the fourth to be heard in this trial so far, all former students of Auckland’s Dilworth School where Cave was a house tutor, then music teacher and choir master.

The alleged victim told the court he’d spent hours and hours alone with Cave, as a music student and soloist in the choir.

Defence Counsel Warren Pyke, when questioning the witness, said his evidence was “just a tissue of lies, are they not?”.

He replied, “it’s complete truth”.

Pyke suggested the former student “maintained an ongoing friendly relationship with Mr Cave”.

The witness disputed that, but admitted the pair never had a "falling out”, and that Cave later provided him with notes to help with exams.

The trial, before Justice Mary Peters and a jury, continues on Wednesday.

Leonard Cave is one of 12 men charged with historical sexual abuse in connection to Auckland's Dilworth School.