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Peter Ellis witness speaks out

Published: 6:09PM Sunday August 17, 2003

One of the key witnesses in the Peter Ellis sex abuse case is disputing claims his memory has been manipulated.

Tom, which is not his real name, is now 17 years old.

He was one of the creche children whose evidence helped convict Ellis of sex crimes 10 years ago.

Ellis has always protested his innocence.

Tom, who maintains he was abused by Ellis, has never spoken publicly about his allegations before.

"I think it's just time - I have to say something," he told One News.

"I'd rather not, I'd rather it would all just go away."

Tom was at the Christchurch Civic Creche from three to five years of age.

Author and Ellis supporter Lynley Hood maintains Tom and the other complainants cracked under pressure.

"Their memories have been totally stuffed around. There is no way that what they remember now can be remotely reliable," says Hood.

Tom disagrees.

"I can remember a lot of things very well - vividly even."

He says the things that happened to him when he was young will be in his mind forever.

"I was abused, sexually abused, at the Civic Creche by Peter Ellis."

Tom says he feels it is happening "all over again" because of recent publicity over a petition.

The petition, calling for a commission of inquiry into the Ellis case, was organised by National MPs Katherine Rich and Don Brash.

It is signed by more than 140 high-profile New Zealanders.

Children's Commissioner Roger McClay says he has been contacted by four of the children involved in the creche inquiry wanting to know how they can make a submission to the select committee.

This week Ellis' lawyer was to make an application to the Privy Council in an attempt to get her client pardoned.

One News understands that may not happen if a select committee inquiry is held instead.

Tom says the only thing that will give him closure is for Ellis to publicly say sorry for what he has done.

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