Sentencing of Leonard Cave

12 August 2022

Statement from Dilworth Trust Board Chairman Aaron Snodgrass

“Today Leonard Cave was sentenced in the Auckland District Court to eight years imprisonment having been found guilty on 1 June 2022 of eight indecent assault charges and not guilty of one.

Cave was the former choirmaster and head of music at Dilworth School, where he held teaching positions for more than 10 years, starting in the 1970s.

We acknowledge the courage of all Old Boy survivors who laid complaints and had their voices heard, and crimes against them acknowledged, during Cave’s trial.

We are deeply sorry for the hurt caused to Old Boy survivors. The abuse suffered by some of the Old Boys in Dilworth’s care is, and was, completely unacceptable.

Cave’s offending was a gross breach of trust, and today’s sentencing is a further step towards justice for our Old Boy survivors. Dilworth School has actively made major changes to the way it works to care for and protect its students.

Nothing we can do today can undo the past, but we have put in place an Independent Inquiry to better understand, and learn from, past mistakes.

We have also announced the Dilworth Redress Programme Panel, chaired by former High Court Judge Dame Judith Potter DNZM CBE, who is joined by clinical psychologist Professor Ian Lambie ONZM and governance expert Ms Rukumoana Schaafhausen MNZM.

We encourage Old Boy survivors to consider engaging with the Independent Inquiry. When the Dilworth Redress Programme’s website is launched on 29 August, Old Boy survivors can register their interest in making an application for redress. We are committed to making sure that lessons are learned, and that Old Boy survivors have access to redress.

The confidential Dilworth Redress Programme will be available to any Dilworth Old Boy survivor of sexual or serious physical abuse committed by a Dilworth representative, or for survivors of sexual abuse committed by another student while at Dilworth. Families of Old Boy survivors who have died can make an application for redress. There is no cost to applicants to register and to make an application for redress.

The Redress Programme is fair and balanced, and responsive to the needs of Old Boy survivors during their participation in the process. The starting position for the Panel when considering an application for redress is that Old Boy survivors will be believed.

Any Old Boy survivor who needs assistance can contact our free, confidential and independent Listening Service for access to professional counselling and psychological support. Please email [email protected] and an experienced psychologist will contact you.

The Board has also established a Wellness Unit to support Old Boy survivors. It is currently assisting those who register to participate in the Inquiry. It provides support, referrals and access to counselling and other support services for those participating in this process. Information about the Wellness Unit can be found at”