Second child abuse complainant approaches police

When Peter Lindsay Armitage was sentenced for indecencies against a boy last year, the police appealed for any other victims to come forward – and now one of them has.

Armitage, now aged 74, faces sentencing again on November 29 on two more charges of doing an indecent act on a boy when the victim was aged between five and eight.

In February 2017, Armitage was sentenced to 12 months’ home detention and ordered to pay $5000 emotional harm reparations to the first victim.

He had admitted putting his hand down the pants of an eight-year-old boy and looking at his penis in six charges of indecent assault dating back to 1977 and 1978.

The victim told the court that Armitage had told him “it was our secret and no-one would understand”.

After that sentencing, Detective Marc Boodee said Armitage had moved around Canterbury over the last 40 years and it was possible there were more victims. He appealed for any other victims to come forward and contact their local police station.

In July last year, the second victim, then aged 44, approached the police and made a complaint.

Armitage was charged but has had interim name suppression as the case has moved towards a jury trial which was due to begin in the Christchurch District Court next week.

However, he changed his plea to guilty before Judge Jane Farish today, and she remanded him for sentencing next month. She did not ask for a pre-sentence report but she has asked for a report from the Stop programme for sex offenders, which Armitage has nearly completed. He remains on bail.

Name suppression lifted with his two guilty pleas today.

Both of Armitage’s victims have declined to meet him at restorative justice meetings, but defence counsel Craig Ruane said Armitage was expected to write a letter of apology for the victim in the latest case.

Crown prosecutor Courtney Martyn said the offending had occurred between 1978 and 1981 when Armitage was operating a chicken farm in North Eyre Road, in rural North Canterbury.

The victim sometimes visited the farm, when Armitage would take him for a rides on his motorcycle. As they rode, Armitage had one hand down the front of the victim’s pants. He would whisper, “Remember our secret.”

Armitage drove the motorcycle to the house where he took down the boy’s pants and fondled him. He told him, “Remember our little secret.”

This happened more than three times. Armitage told the boy’s mother he was taking him for motorcycle rides, but he only ever had rides going to and from the house, the prosecutor said.