19 September 2022

More jail time for Canberra cricket coach who abused aspiring athlete

| Claire Fenwicke
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ACT Law Courts

Ian Harold King has received more jail time for child sex offences in the ACT Supreme Court. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses child sex abuse.

A notorious child sex offender has had his prison sentence lengthened over an act of indecency against a then-13-year-old boy in 1998.

Ian Harold King was already serving more than 20 years in jail for sex offences against 10 other boys he had either coached or met through his victims.

The 79 year old pleaded guilty to a charge of committing an act of indecency on a person under the age of 16 in this case.

The survivor previously told the court King had stolen his “soul” when he took the boy to his Lyons apartment for a one-on-one training session. He told the boy to remove his clothing and then sexually abused him.

For this offending, Justice Geoffrey Kennett sentenced King to a further two years and seven months imprisonment, beginning 1 November 2029.

Cricket coach

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

In his sentence, Justice Kennett said the survivor’s victim impact statement made clear the harm caused was “profound, complex and long-lasting”.

“He eloquently described a degree of loss and harm that is tragic, albeit not unexpected given the type of offending,” he said.

Justice Kennett also described King’s offending was for his own “sexual gratification” and that his offending was in the upper range of seriousness for this type of crime, “albeit towards the lower end of that range”.

“The victim was lured to the offender’s house … a place where the victim was rendered particularly vulnerable by his lack of familiarity with the area and isolation from trusted adults. The victim could not easily have escaped when he started feeling uncomfortable,” he said.

“There was a relationship of trust between the victim and the offender … Given the professional success of the offender, the victim is likely to have admired the offender and been hopeful that he would become something of a mentor. This relationship of trust is similar to that between a teacher and their student.”

Other factors taken into account were King’s health issues, which included macular degeneration, and his upcoming cataract operation that would leave him “almost blind” for a period of time while in prison.

“The offender’s age and ill health are matters to be taken into account, as is the possibility that the sentence I impose may lead to him spending the rest of his life in prison,” Justice Kennett said.

“However … these considerations cannot be allowed to overwhelm other sentencing considerations or lead to a sentence that fails to reflect the community’s abhorrence of crimes of the present kind.”

King has been eligible for parole since 2 November, 2020, but has declined to apply for it. His new parole period was set to 2 June 2021, as a result of this sentencing.

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