Man who photographed children naked in recreation facilities named as autism awareness campaigner David Greer

By Tracy Neal, Open Justice reporter of

David Russell Harvey Greer (also known as David Warne)

Warning: This story deals with sexual offending and may be distressing.

A man who photographed naked children in recreational centres and committed an indecent act in front of some of them can finally be named – much to the relief of one of the victims’ parents.

Suppression lapsed late on Friday for autism awareness campaigner David Russell Harvey Greer (also known as David Warne), who is in prison for offences that included hiding in the changing rooms of three different recreational facilities and covertly taking photos of naked children in two of them.

The 48-year-old was sentenced to four years in prison in the Nelson District Court earlier this month on four charges of doing an indecent act, two of which were representative charges, and three charges of knowingly possessing an objectionable publication – the latter forming the lead charges on which he was sentenced.

The offending happened at public recreational facilities across the top of the South Island. Many of the victims remain unknown and likely remained unaware of what had happened.

The parents of one of the victims told the court at sentencing on 3 May that their child was just 10 at the time. Until then, they had never had a reason to be scared, but the effects of the man’s offending had been profound.

The child’s mother told NZME on Friday that having Greer named was a relief for their family and possibly others in the future.

“When the police first came to see us, from our child’s description they were able to say: ‘We know who he is’.

“It’s such a relief he’s no longer protected by name suppression because I’d hate to think of the same happening again in the future.”

At sentencing, Greer was denied permanent name suppression, partly because of the public right to know and because his application failed to meet the threshold of extreme hardship, including that likely to be suffered by his family if his name was published.

Crown prosecutor Jeremy Cameron, who opposed permanent suppression, said then that Greer had offended in a public space and that transparency should be paramount yet he was seeking privacy through name suppression.

He said Greer, who has a form of autism, had not established a link between his mental health and his offending and had been comfortable “offering himself up in the public arena” with media stories about autism.

“Now the defence says to publicly name him would be a fall from grace, which borders on hypocrisy,” Cameron said.

He said the impact on family members would be embarrassing and distressing but that, as in other cases, was a natural consequence of the offending.

An interim suppression order was imposed when his lawyer, Steven Zindel, indicated an appeal was possible. He said Greer’s vulnerability warranted name suppression.

That has now lapsed and no appeal has been lodged.

The victim’s mother, who spoke with NZME, said she had felt some empathy towards Greer but that diminished the longer he denied the offending.

She was also sympathetic towards Greer’s mother and asked that she not be judged by the actions of her son.

‘Terrifying escalation’

Greer’s offending dates back to December 2018, when he photographed young girls, aged between six and 10, at one facility.

He was finally caught five years after his first offence, after an associate to whom Greer had given his computer for repairs handed police a copy of files showing pictures of naked children.

Cameron said the offending had been habitual, had a “terrifying escalation” in seriousness, and had happened against a backdrop of previous proven offending.

He said Greer’s offending had gone from possessing and creating objectionable images to engaging with young people.

In January 2019, Greer was in the changing rooms of a different recreational complex when he took a series of 18 photos of naked boys aged between eight and 10 as they were getting changed.

In the same month, he covertly photographed two young girls, aged five and seven, as they sat at a table opposite him at a restaurant.

In October 2019, an adult who regularly used the facility where the boys were photographed noticed over several weeks that the defendant, now known as Greer, on about six occasions was acting strangely in the male changing rooms.

The man reported it to staff but because English was his second language, he had difficulties communicating what he saw. The manager of the facility reported the matter to police.

A few weeks later, the witness identified Greer when he returned. Police were called and Greer was trespassed from the complex.

In November 2021, he went to a different facility in the top of the South Island and entered a changing room at the same time as two children aged 10 and 11.

He removed his clothing completely and walked across the changing room to the shower cubicle where the children were also showering.

When they were back in the changing room, the man left the cubicle he was in, sat down on a bench near the children, began to apply soap to his body and masturbated.

In October 2021, multiple photos of naked children were found on Greer’s computer but it was not until March 2023 that police were notified.

The sports facilities involved say they have made operational changes to ensure similar offending does not happen again.

Where to get help:

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email

What’s Up: free counselling for 5 to 19 years old, online chat 11am-10.30pm 7days/week or free phone 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 11am-11pm Asian Family Services: 0800 862 342 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm or text 832 Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Languages spoken: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and English.

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

OUTLine: 0800 688 5463 (6pm-9pm)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.


According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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