A Timaru man arrested in the Philippines on child rape and human trafficking charges has been released from prison on a technicality, a Filipino news agency has reported.
David William Wakefield, 52, who has a history of sexual offending, was arrested as he checked out of his hotel room in Davao on October 25.
He was accused of raping two girls, aged 12 and 13, and also of violating human trafficking laws.
Wakefield was previously convicted of sexual abuse of a girl, 7, in Darwin between late 1996 and early 1998, and sexual grooming of a girl, aged 11, in 2007.
News website Balita Pinoy yesterday reported that Wakefield was released this week and given 10 days to submit a counter-affidavit. A "technicality" in the complaint laid against him had allowed for the temporary release, it reported.
Wakefield was released from prison in Australia in February this year and lived in Timaru for a short time before moving on.
He was working as a contractor for a South African oil company in Mozambique at the time of his arrest. He is understood to be a New Zealand and United Kingdom dual passport holder.
The New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry confirmed last night consular staff at the New Zealand embassy in Manila had provided consular advice to Wakefield.
However, he had asked that no further comment be made, a spokesperson said.
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