Neighbours of a paroled high-risk rapist are questioning how he managed to befriend a woman with a four-year-old daughter despite being monitored by the Department of Corrections.
Te Atatu Peninsula resident Ronald Van Der Plaat, 78, appeared in the Waitakere District Court on Wednesday charged with breaching his parole conditions by allegedly having unsupervised contact with the child whose mother he befriended without telling her of his past.
He was only discovered after a neighbour spotted him at the Auckland War Memorial Museum with the girl and alerted police.
Van Der Plaat was released in 2010, two-thirds of the way through his sentence for keeping his daughter as a sex slave who he regularly beat, raped and subjected to "bizarre and depraved" acts.
His offending included hanging her from the ceiling by her ankles before abusing her, making her pregnant with a baby she later miscarried and raping her after giving her overdoses of drugs and alcohol.
His parole conditions included not spending the night away from home and not having contact with anyone under the age of 16 other than with the supervision of a probation officer-approved adult. He was recalled to prison in September.
His lawyer Graeme Minchin sought to oppose Van Der Plaat being named in the media because he said his client had been abused in custody.
He was unsuccessful.
Mr Minchin said Van Der Platt had been beaten, sexually assaulted and urinated on in prison.
Detective sergeant Eugene Pickett says police are investigating if there was any criminal offending by Van Der Plaat while he was on parole.
A woman who lives behind Van Der Plaat's Te Atatu home said she had seen children in Van Der Plaat's backyard and she wondered how he could have got away with it.
The Department of Corrections and minister Anne Tolley both declined to comment saying it was inappropriate with the case before the courts.
A neighbour said she had not seen children at the house and she would have called police if she had.
She said Corrections had been good at keeping people informed and it was "pretty impossible to keep an eye on everyone".
"Auckland is a big place. I doubt he would try anything on the [Te Atatu] peninsula."
The woman said she had not had a problem with Van Der Plaat but having him gone was a "weight off her mind".
He was remanded in custody to reappear in a month.
Fairfax NZ News
- © Fairfax NZ News
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