Arthur Allan Thomas stands trial on historical rape and indecent assault charges

The man twice convicted and later pardoned for the murders of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe is now standing trial for alleged historical rape and indecent assault.

Arthur Allan Thomas, who is now in his eighties, has pleaded not guilty to five charges. 

Thomas' trial got underway in the Manukau District Court on Monday.

These charges are historical and involve two complainants, who first spoke to police in February of 2019.

Thomas denies the charge of rape and four counts of indecent assault.

The trial is heavily suppressed and prevents many of the specific details from being reported, including the time and place when the alleged offending took place.

Thomas is no stranger to court.

In 1971 and 1973, he was found guilty of the murders of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe who were shot dead in their Pukekawa farmhouse.

But he was later pardoned and granted close to $1 million in compensation, after a Royal Commission of Inquiry found police planted a bullet casing in the Crewe's garden.

The jury of eight men and four women heard the opening statements from both Crown and defence on Monday.

The defence case is simple. Marie Dhyrberg QC has told the court the allegations are simply not true.

The trial is set down for ten days and is likely to hear from a dozen Crown witnesses.