Mother tells church-going, former teacher and sex offender: ‘Your heart is rotten’ | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Warning: This story contains details about sexual assualt.

A church member, grandfather and former teacher has been described as a “vile old man” who took thousands of sexualised photos of young girls and women.

Malcolm Ross Davidson, a 72 year-old from Massey, appeared at the Auckland District Court on Friday where he was sentenced to six years in prison.

At an earlier hearing he pleaded guilty to 189 charges, including 131 charges of making intimate visual recordings, 45 charges of sexual connection with a child, one of doing an indecent act and 12 charges of making an objectionable publication. Davidson offended against 83 girls and women.

When police carried out a thorough search of his cellphone and computer devices, they uncovered an extensive collection of up-skirt videos and images.

A police search of Malcolm Ross Davidson's phone found he had over 10,000 images of women and children at a school, a church, parks, shops, beaches and playgrounds.

Chris McKeen/Stuff

A police search of Malcolm Ross Davidson’s phone found he had over 10,000 images of women and children at a school, a church, parks, shops, beaches and playgrounds.

Court documents seen by Stuff show Davidson captured intimate recordings of 53 girls and 30 adult women. A further 50 girls and women could not be identified and the police say many would not be aware they had been filmed.

In total, the police found he had made 648 videos and taken 10,924 images of girls and women at a school, a church, parks, shops, beaches and playgrounds.

The offending spanned years and included the sexual abuse of children.

Davidson’s grotesque offending included gathering sanitary products from women’s public toilets. He took 18,000 images of the used items.

Davidson sat in the dock, staring at his hands in his lap, as the parents of the young children and women described the effects of his gross violations.

One father told the court his daughter was just three when Davidson “hunted us out” at a party and took sexualised photos of her.

“He’s nothing but a vile old man. I don’t believe he’s sorry for what he’s done.”

His partner said Davidson’s crimes “turns our stomach and darkens our world” and had changed the way they parented.

“It is clear after you have behaved this way for so long, you are not going to change. Your heart is rotten and there is no cure.”

Another mother addressed the judge.

“I implore you not to tread lightly on Malcolm Davidson’s sentence because of his age, race or status. He is, after all, a wolf – despite the sheep’s clothing.”

Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey.


Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey.

The Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey asked for a sentence starting at six years with extra time added for the filming of the sanitary items.

“To be frank, on occasion we can’t find the adjectives and the objectionable publications fall into that category.”

He said the offending showed planning and premeditation, a gross breach of trust and the severe vulnerability of the children.

Davidson’s lawyer Paul Dacre KC said his clients had “fractured” family relationships. He said his client also had a number of health issues which would make prison difficult for him.

“He does accept the destruction of his human relationships that he has caused.”

Dacre said Davidson had held down a number of jobs and, despite a thorough police investigation, it appeared he had only recently began offending. He said he could not explain Davidson’s offending.

The Auckland District Court where Malcolm Ross Davidson was sentenced on Friday.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

The Auckland District Court where Malcolm Ross Davidson was sentenced on Friday.

Judge Kathryn Maxwell began by addressing the survivors and their families.

”I’ve heard what you said, and I very much understand the devastation that Mr Davidson’s offending has caused. This is very much in the forefront of my mind.”

She said Davidson’s offending involved planning and premeditation, the vulnerability of the victims, the gross breach of trust, the scale and the impact on the victims.

She said some of the parents blamed themselves for Davidson’s offending.

“They need to understand that there was nothing they could have done. You were a master manipulator – you did not fool the victims, you failed them.”

Judge Maxwell said the videos Davidson made of consuming the sanitary products had been found by the film board to be “abhorrent.” She said the offending warranted an addition to his sentence and was so unusual that no other cases were comparable.

She gave him a discount for his early guilty pleas but not for “previous good character”, given his offending spanned four years and was a gross breach of trust.

“You may note the irony, it was your character that allowed you to offend.”

She also declined to give discounts on the basis of his various health issues, noting his poor health did not stop him from offending.

She told Davidson that despite his claims of remorse, he had made no attempt at rehabilitation and told a Parole officer that an apology would be shallow given his “vile behaviour”.

While Davidson’s guilty pleas saved survivors and their family members from giving evidence, Davidson waited a full 11 months as the case lumbered through the court system.

The evidence against him was strong.

Davidson covertly filmed up one girl’s skirt when he visited a vet clinic and pretended to be interested in her dog.

At other times he targeted children at a toy shop, asking their advice about toys.

Court documents show Davidson had been working as a casual relief teacher at schools in Auckland since 2010.

The documents show Davidson manipulated girls, sometimes with ice cream and lollies, to get them to walk near his phone.

Davidson also targeted women who worked in retail shops, including clothing and jewellery shops.

He played the generous older gentleman, saying he was buying jewellery for family members. He groomed the women by learning their first names and would ask to see the jewellery on the bottom shelf.

Davidson filmed the shop assistants as they turned to bend over and fetch the items.

He sometimes put his phone on the ground, leaving it there for girls and women to walk over while it was recording. At other times he held it, pointing it towards intimate areas.

He was only stopped when a father noticed Davidson covertly filming his daughter at a Farmers department shop in Newmarket.

Davidson’s perversion and self-described “obsession” meant he recorded his own crimes, essentially creating a watertight case for the police.

When police arrested him following the incident at Farmers, he admitted he had been filming up the skirts of girls and women. He later revealed his “obsession” with used sanitary pads.

Davidson initially sought name suppression but Judge Kathryn Maxwell declined to keep his name secret, following a hearing at the Auckland District Court in October 2022.

A lawyer acting on behalf of connected parties indicated he would be filing an appeal in the High Court, however, the appeal was abandoned.

The Teaching Council’s register shows Davidson’s registration has been cancelled.

Sexual violence: Where to get help

  • Rape Crisis 0800 88 33 00, click link for local helplines.

  • Victim Support 0800 842 846.

  • Safetalk text 4334, phone 0800 044 334 webchat or email [email protected].

  • The Harbour Online support and information for people affected by sexual abuse.

  • Women’s Refuge 0800 733 843

  • Male Survivors Aotearoa Helplines across NZ, click to find out more (males only).

  • If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 111.

If you or someone you know is in a dangerous situation, click the Shielded icon at the bottom of this website to contact Women’s Refuge in a safe and anonymous way without it being traced in your browser history. If you’re in our app, visit the mobile website here to access Shielded.

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