19 Dec 2019

Arthur Allan Thomas charged with historical sex offending

3:23 pm on 19 December 2019

Arthur Allan Thomas, who was pardoned for the 1970 murders of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe, is facing historical rape and indecent assault charges.

Arthur Allan Thomas pictured in 2013.

Photo: NZ Herald / file photo

Thomas, 81, has pleaded not guilty in the Manukau District Court to one charge of rape and four of indecent assault.

Judge Charles Blackie has lifted suppression orders on the case.

He will next appear in court in March.

Thomas was twice convicted of the 1970 murders of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe and spent nine years in jail, but was later freed after a scathing Royal Commission into the police investigation.

The Royal Commission found that police had planted evidence, including a vital cartridge case, and had withheld other evidence at the trials.

He was pardoned in 1980 and was paid compensation of almost $1 million. He returned to farming and always

stoutly maintained his own innocence of the Crewe murders.

A four-year long police review released in 2014 found there no new information had come to light that would prompt police to initiate further inquiries or realistically identify the offender.