Auckland paedophile's bid for freedom denied

  • 29/10/2015
Auckland paedophile's bid for freedom denied

A self-professed social worker who had sex with underage runaway girls in exchange for cash, drugs, alcohol and clothes has failed in his bid for freedom by claiming he had an incompetent lawyer and prison food made him ill.

Derek Lester King is serving a preventive detention sentence after he was jailed for at least seven years in 2012.

The Crown said for more than two decades the 69-year-old, who lived in an Edwardian townhouse in Auckland's Constitution Hill, secured himself a steady supply of young women for sex. He would in return provide them with cash, shelter, food, clothing and sometimes drugs and alcohol.

In covering his trial, Metro magazine's Steve Braunias said King's "archaic pleasantries" made him "like some sort of Humbert Humbert", the pedophile from Vladimir Nabakov's book Lolita.

Almost as soon as he was jailed, King started to appeal his conviction and sentence.

But after more than two-and-a-half years and going through a number of lawyers and time extensions, the Court of Appeal has now said it has had enough of a now lawyerless King's abuse of the process.

In a decision released today, the court dismissed King's claim his trial lawyer was incompetent and said it was happy with his sentence.

It also dismissed his claim he was "barely awake, semi-conscious, confused or lethargic" during the trial.

King claimed he suffered from coeliac disease and could not eat gluten or dairy.

However, there was no medical evidence supporting that and Mt Eden prison staff noted that while his dietary requirements were catered for, King kept asking for yoghurt, cheese, wheat-based instant noodles and biscuits.

Lawyers in court hadn't noticed King was suffering from any ill health at all, the judges said.