7 March 2024

Ex-top cricketer Ian King handed extra 23 years' jail for sexually abusing three more boys

| Albert McKnight
ACT Law Courts

The court has found Ian King “preyed upon the victims’ passion for cricket” through his “prolonged, planned and premeditated” offences. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to child abuse.

A notorious child sex offender and former first-grade cricketer who “preyed upon the victims’ passion for cricket” has been handed another lengthy period of imprisonment as the number of his victims to come forward continues to grow.

On Thursday (7 March), 80-year-old Ian Harold King was convicted and sentenced to a total of 23 years’ in jail over the sexual abuse of his three most recent victims to speak out.

This means he has now been sentenced for committing sexual offences against a total of 14 boys or teenagers. His non-parole period for all his offences has been reset to 25 years.

He has been in custody since 2008 and this new non-parole period means he cannot be released from jail until July 2033, by which time he would be 90 years old.

When it came to his most recent three victims, he was in his 50s when he abused them between 1997 and 2003 while they were aged between 14 and 18.

READ ALSO Call for lighting and cameras at Yerrabi Pond after string of indecent assaults

A former first-grade cricketer, he met each of them through cricket while he was working as a coach. He then started teaching them during one-on-one training sessions, after which he invited them back to his home.

He regularly committed numerous sexual offences against the boys over the years.

When it came to one boy, King abused him up to 70 times when he was aged between 14 and 16 and even told him that what he was doing was “natural” and would “improve his cricketing ability”.

He laughed while telling another boy about how he had also been sexually abusing other young cricketers.

Ian Harold King during his time as a coach of the ACT U17 cricket team in 1992. Photo: Supplied.

Justice Belinda Baker said King had “preyed upon the victims’ passion for cricket” and had “stolen their innocence, confidence, hopes and dreams” through his “prolonged, planned and premeditated” offences.

She said there was no doubt he caused “life-long harm” to his victims and his offending had “impacted every aspect of their lives”.

“There is nothing redeeming or mitigating in these offences,” she said.

Justice Baker said King had a dysfunctional and traumatic upbringing, growing up surrounded by drinking and fighting when he was a child, but he excelled at boxing and cricket and played at a national level.

He has had a knee replacement and has diabetes and other health issues. On 27 January 2013, he was assaulted by another inmate in the Alexander Machonocie Centre and received a serious injury to his eye, which means he now has a prosthetic eye.

Given his age, the judge accepted that her sentence would likely have the effect of a life sentence.

King pleaded guilty to three counts of the persistent sexual abuse of a child, two counts of sexual intercourse with a child, two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and one count of committing an act of indecency without consent.

READ ALSO 14-year-old alleged driver in fatal Barton Highway crash still on bail, despite intimidation concerns

During his sentencing hearing late last year, the ACT Supreme Court heard one of these survivors didn’t just blame him but also felt like he had been failed by Cricket ACT, Cricket Australia, and those leading the Ginninderra Cricket Club at the time.

When King was last sentenced in 2022 over his abuse of a 13-year-old boy, this survivor also accused Cricket ACT and Cricket Australia of turning “a blind eye” to his behaviour.

He was first convicted of sex offences against five boys in 2012, then again sentenced for sex offences against another five boys in 2013 before he was last sentenced in 2022.

King, now a white-haired elderly man wearing prison greys, tripped and almost fell to the ground after he was sentenced on Thursday before custodial officers helped lead him from the courtroom.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 02 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call Triple Zero.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.