CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses child sex abuse and suicide.
A survivor of Ian Harold King has blasted the notorious sex offender for sexually abusing him as a child and accused major cricketing bodies of allegedly ignoring the former professional player’s vile behaviour when he was a coach.
“You robbed me of something 23 years ago,” the survivor told the 79-year-old in the ACT Supreme Court on Monday (22 August).
“Something deep inside of every single person here, besides you, of course. Something that shapes a child and makes them who they are as an adult, something that gives them a spark and that shines from the inside out.
“Twenty-three years ago, the thing you stole from me was my soul.”
The survivor has continued to have night-time flashbacks to “being that frozen, helpless and humiliated boy in your apartment”.
He also said he felt so lost in life or disconnected from friends at times that he has even contemplated suicide.
“You have made me consider taking my own life rather than live in this world. Do you get that? Do you get the damage you have done?” he told his white-haired abuser, who by now was crying over the audio-visual link, his body heaving in huge sobs that wracked his body.
“I hate you. You are a predator. There is so much evil in this world, and with you behind bars, there is one less evil person in it.”
The survivor also laid blame at the feet of cricket organisations.
“There were others at the time within Cricket ACT and Cricket Australia who knew what you were capable of and yet turned a blind eye and did nothing to stop things from happening,” he alleged.
“To me, that is just as bad as what you actually did.
“Still to this very day, neither Cricket ACT nor Cricket Australia show any form of compassion, empathy, compensation or public acknowledgement that they did nothing to prevent or stop this type of abuse from happening.”
King was already serving over 20 years in jail for sex offences against other boys he had coached before pleading guilty to a charge of committing an act of indecency on a person under the age of 16 against this survivor.
The survivor was in his mid-teens in the late 1990s when ‘Kingy’, as King was known in the cricketing community, offered him one-on-one personal training sessions, court documents say.
King, a renowned fast bowler, was a first grade and club coach for Ginninderra Cricket Club, as well as a selector for the ACT Comets at the time.
He took the survivor back to his apartment, saying he could point out muscle groups that needed strengthening to become a better bowler.
Inside, King told him to undress in front of a mirror, then repeatedly touched his groin while pointing to muscles. He also touched the survivor’s genitals before sexually assaulting him.
King’s lawyer, Jonathan Cooper of the Aboriginal Legal Service, told the court his client had completed the sex offenders program while in custody and carried a lot of trauma from his deprived upbringing.
He said King had a cataract in his eye, as well as macular degeneration, and if he needed an operation, he could be returned to jail where he’d be blind, elderly and “unable to defend himself in a place where he doesn’t feel safe”. He has already been assaulted in jail.
Crown Prosecutor Morgan Howe said sporting coaches filled an important role for adolescents in the community and were entrusted to be with children and spend time with them.
Budding sports players, who were impressionable at that age, admired them as well, he said.
Justice Geoffrey Kennett has reserved his sentence and will announce it at a later date.
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