13 Nov 2014

Praise for victims of ambulance officer

9:03 pm on 13 November 2014

The police have paid tribute to the courage of four women sexually violated by Hawke's Bay ambulance officer Christopher King while he was taking them to hospital.

King was found guilty of eight sex charges against four women, including allegations he stupefied, sexually violated and made intimate visual recordings of a 15-year-old girl while transporting her in an ambulance.

He was also convicted of sexually violating three other women in the back of his ambulance and indecently assaulting one of them.

One of the victims was a terminally ill 23-year-old woman who has since died. She gave evidence on her death bed.

Detective Grant Jarvis said the verdict was a relief for the victims, who had had the courage to come forward and endure a lengthy trial.

"This has obviously been a very stressful time for these women, and we acknowledge the courage it has taken to give evidence in court," Mr Jarvis said.

"We appreciate what they have done to enable us to bring this man to justice."

The victims were also pleased with the guilty verdict, he said.

St John outraged

St John Hawke's Bay District Operations manager Stephen Smith said King's actions were outrageous.

"St John are really pleased that justice has been served today and that Christopher King has been found guilty of all his crimes," he told Checkpoint.

"We're really outraged with what he's done. This is completely unacceptable behaviour and at the moment St John's thoughts' are with the victims and their families, with the difficult circumstances they've been put through."

Judge Geoff Rea summed up this morning, saying the defence was the same for every charge - that it did not happen and the allegations were untrue.

He told the jurors that the most significant issue in this case was that there were four complainants of different ages who do not know each other.

The judge said the jurors must decide if the Crown had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt.

They did, taking only two hours to find him guilty of all charges.

King's lawyer, Bill Clavier, conceded his client was likely to face jail time and that he was disappointed but stoic.

King has been remanded in custody until 18 December for sentencing.

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