Sex offender Ronald van der Plaat not welcome in neighbourhood

Ronald van der Plaat
Ronald van der Plaat

One of the country's worst sex offenders is due to be released back into the community, and neighbours fear he will re-offend.

Ronald van der Plaat kept his daughter as a sex slave for more than two decades.

A sentencing judge described his acts as "indescribably cruel".

Not surprisingly, media weren't welcome at van der Plaat's home today. He's not welcome in the street either.

"From a parent's point of view I want him strung up by the goolies and never let go," says neighbour Teressa Thomson.

He's due to be released to the same house he held his daughter as a sex slave for 23 years.

He was released in 2010 but sent back to prison after breaching his parole when he was seen at the Auckland War Memorial Museum holding hands with a five-year-old.

The 82-year-old has now served his entire sentence so is being released back to Te Atatu.

"[I'm] not happy about him being here, but he has to go somewhere," says neighbour Leslie Ashwood. "Someone in their right mind just decided he's going to be released. Don't know why."

He'll also be living only 400 metres away from a primary school, on a quiet street, with two childcare centres. Ms Thomson lives right next door.

"We have got our eyes on him and he needs to know he's not going to get away with it again," says Ms Thomson.

He is subject to a raft of special conditions, including 24-hour GPS monitoring, but the conditions only last for six months. The Department of Corrections has applied to the High Court to extend it for up to 10 years.

"Fingers crossed that will be extended," says Ms Thomson. "If it's not that's a really scary prospect."

"If he's only got GPS tracking for six months, that's pretty unacceptable," says Mr Ashwood. "What's six months? You don't learn anything in six months. So that needs to be very long-term."

The overriding feeling from his neighbours is they'd rather know than not know that he's moved back into their street.