It took decades for a 68-year-old Auckland man to be brought to justice for a string of sex crimes, but he has died a day before he was due to be sentenced.
In June, Douglas Richard Peters pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual offending against boys and teenagers. Eight of the charges were representative.
The offending took place against five boys aged 5 to 15, between 1978 and 1987, the court was told.
The bulk of the offending took place at Peters' Owairaka home, his car or at locations connected to the various sporting activities he participated in around the Auckland suburbs of Mt Albert, Western Springs, Avondale and Pt Chevalier.
Peters was due to be sentenced in the Auckland District Court tomorrow but he died last night in Waikato Hospital following an illness, police said.
Detective Grainne Scott of the Henderson Adult Sexual Assault Team said: "The men who came forward to police to report this offending by Douglas Peters have shown incredible strength and courage.
"Their braveness meant that the community was protected from this man and other children were kept safe."
Scott said it was possible there were others who came into contact with Peters over the years, and even though the offender had died, police encouraged other victims to come forward.
"It may be that there are more victims out there and by coming forward to police, whilst we won't be able to prosecute, we can offer access to services that may help them," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News