Well-known West Coaster admits sexually abusing boys he met through sports clubs

Allan Walton, of Taylorville on the West Coast, was known for swimming every day into his 80s.  (File photo)

Sam Strong/Stuff

Allan Walton, of Taylorville on the West Coast, was known for swimming every day into his 80s. (File photo)

Content warning: This story contains information about abuse which some readers may find distressing.

A well-known 87-year-old West Coast man has admitted sexually abusing young boys he met through several sports clubs he had been involved with.

Allan William Walton pleaded guilty to eight sexual offenses when he appeared via video-link at the Greymouth District Court on Wednesday. The offenses were committed from the late 1950s to the 1980s.

Judge Paul Kellar said the charges were among the oldest he had ever seen, some of which had been laid under the Crimes Act 1908.

Walton was charged with three charges of indecent assault on a male, one charge of buggery, one of sodomy with a male under 16, two charges of indecent assault on a male aged between 12 and 16, and one of indecent assault on a male under 12.

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Police say the victims identified so far share a link through several sports clubs that Walton was involved with, including West Coast junior rugby league clubs and the Greymouth Memorial swimming baths.

According to the summary of facts, Walton was living in Taylorville and was well-known in the community as a Brunner Rugby League Club senior player and a West Coast representative Rugby League player.

He was also involved in swimming at what was then the Greymouth Memorial Baths, and was also a coach at the Rugby League club which brought him into contact with young boys.

Allan William Walton will reappear for sentencing in November in the Greymouth District Court.

Joanne Naish/Stuff

Allan William Walton will reappear for sentencing in November in the Greymouth District Court.

A 24-year-old Walton befriended a 10-year-old victim during the Greymouth Opera house fire in 1958. He began giving him swimming lessons soon after, at least twice a week, and mentored him in rugby league.

Walton gave the victim cigarettes, showed him explicit written material and sexually assaulted him.

He instructed the boy to go to his house at night and raped him up to 20 times until 1962.

The second 13-year-old victim met Walton in 1962 while he was playing softball. Walton invited him camping in Punakaiki where he indecently assaulted him.

He continued to groom the child with promises of milkshakes and lollies, and had him stay over at his home many nights with the reluctant permission from his parents. Walton also raped the boy.

The victim tried to get away and dreaded contact with Walton who told him he would let him go when he turned 18.

The victim’s younger brother was also indecently assaulted during a hunting trip in 1962.

Allan Walton has been convicted of historical sexual offenses against young boys.

Sam Strong/Stuff

Allan Walton has been convicted of historical sexual offenses against young boys.

When Walton was arrested on June 15, he spoke willingly to the police and fully admitted the offense against all three victims.

“The defendant further stated he regretted his actions, and wished he could go back in time to change what he did,” it says.

Defense lawyer Elizabeth Bulger said the police investigation was ongoing and more charges were possible. She said sentencing could take place in Greymouth in November to give police time to complete their investigation and for Walton to enter pleas if more charges were laid.

Judge Kellar asked if a restorative justice conference with victims was possible.

Bulger said some potential victims that had come up during the investigation were now deceased. However, if the survivors were willing, restorative justice could take place, she said.

Walton was living in Christchurch with a family member and would be getting a psychiatric assessment before sentencing. Judge Kellar convicted Walton and remanded him on bail.

Greymouth police said in a statement they would like to speak to anyone who may have direct information of a similar offense by Walton.

“Walton was also known by the nickname ‘Skeeter’ at the time of the offense,” it said.

Anyone with information can contact the Greymouth police directly on 03 768 1590 quoting file number 210619/6215.

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