17 Jun 2021

Woman demands apology from Arthur Allan Thomas for indecent assault

6:03 pm on 17 June 2021

A woman accusing Arthur Allan Thomas of indecently touching her on multiple occasions says his wrongful imprisonment for the Crewe murders felt like it was the appropriate punishment for what he did to her.

Arthur Allan Thomas in court

Arthur Allan Thomas in court Photo: RNZ/ Jordan Bond

Thomas, famously pardoned over the unsolved Crewe murders, is now on trial for one charge of rape and four of indecent assault against two complainants, all historical in nature.

Today the second complainant - who has name suppression - gave evidence in a closed court, watching a recorded video of her police interview, and then answering questions from lawyers.

She said, some years ago, Thomas indecently touched her, and made her indecently touch him.

She did not tell anyone for years and got through the mental trauma by binge drinking.

Thomas' wrongful imprisonment in the 1970s was enough for her.

"The nine years - I thought that was punishment for doing that to me," she said.

The woman and her husband later sought a meeting with Thomas' lawyer hoping to receive a full apology.

"They tried to make us out to be extortionists ... we never mentioned money. We had no reason to go there other than to solve it. Money didn't come into it."

The woman said no apology came, and then, for her, the final straw arose: a petition was launched asking police to apologise to Thomas over the Crewe murders - while she had never had an apology from him.

"The reason I'm here today is because [the issue has] reared its ugly head again."

Both complainants said other people witnessed the incidents. One of these people is expected to give evidence.

Thomas strongly denies the allegations, and his lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg QC, said the incidents plainly never happened. She said the women had an interest in getting money out of him.

The trial continues before Judge Bergseng and a jury in the Manukau District Court.