June 01, 2006
A convicted sex offender run out of town by the Blackball community a year ago was able to get a 17-year-old Chinese girl student boarding in his home by giving a false name.
The false name stopped his criminal record being picked up by police vetting and the student stayed at his home for about a month before it was uncovered.
Paul Franklin-King, 65, was also known as Graham Wootton when the West Coast community of Blackball rose up in protest when he came to live there last year. Protests outside his house led to him leaving the town, which has a population of 400.
At the time, he was on probation after serving a jail sentence. He was last jailed in 2003 on three charges of indecent assault on a girl aged under 12 years, and his other sexual offending dates back to the 1960s.
He has been in custody since his arrest on four document fraud charges relating to the foreign student’s homestay.
He applied for bail in the High Court this morning, but when it was refused he pleaded guilty to the four charges before Judge Phillip Moran in the Christchurch District Court.
Counsel Richard Peters said: “Police have taken the view that there was something more sinister involved, and that’s why bail was opposed. His history does him no favours at all.”
Franklin-King told the court he and his partner had bought a home and took in the boarder to help pay the large mortgage. “We were a bit worried we might lose the house,” he said.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Berryman said that in January Franklin-King wrote to an agency that arranges homestay accommodation for foreign students, requesting a female student to live at the house where he lives with his partner. He signed the letter with the false name.
A company official visited to assess the suitability as a homestay, and he was paid $2000 and the student then arrived.
A school official later visited and Franklin-King used the false name to sign other forms. One of these was a document that allows police vetting of people applying for homestay students, to check on previous convictions.
Mr Berryman said if Franklin-King had used his real name he would have been assessed as “extremely unsuitable”. After four weeks, the police heard about the student being at the house.
Mr Peters said there was no suggestion that anything untoward had happened towards the student. The homestay payment was a substantial amount of money for a man on a modest income as a pensioner. Franklin-King had spent two weeks in custody since his arrest.
Franklin-King said he did not realise he could not use the other name, and apologised to the judge. The remaining money he had received had been repaid.
Judge Moran told him: “There is a substantial industry in New Zealand involving overseas students coming here to study. It is very important that the schools that bring them here, and the students’ parents, can feel assured of the safety of the students.
“If you give false information so that an overseas student ends up in an environment that might rightly be regarded as unsafe, you do a lot of damage to this industry.
“I want you to understand that this is a serious piece of offending,” said Judge Moran, sentencing Franklin-King to 120 hours of community work.
NZ Herald story here
TV One News story here
From the Christchurch Press 21st May 2005
"Wootton was last jailed in 2003 on three charges of indecent assault on a girl under 12 years, and has other sexual offences dating back to the 1960s."
The Press understands Wootton, who has recently gone under the name of Paul Franklin King, was convicted in 2003 for indecent assaults that occurred while he was working at a Casebrook hairdressing salon in Christchurch.
Date of Birth
1940 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 120 hours community work in June 2006
To be updated
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Paedophile not punished for parole breach
Convicted sex offender arranged student homestay
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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