King thought boys would be ignored
JONATHAN KING believed that his celebrity status meant he could "get away with almost anything" and that his teenage victims would never be believed, the Crown alleged at his first, unreported Old Bailey trial.
For almost three weeks during September, a jury heard lurid accounts of how King sexually assaulted five schoolboys aged 13 to 15 in the mid-1980s.
The case, which resulted in unanimous guilty verdicts, could not be reported until yesterday when a second trial with different victims collapsed and the Crown offered no more evidence.
David Jeremy, prosecuting counsel in the both trials, said the five victims in the first case did not know each other but told similar stories. Mr Jeremy said King was "working to a method which undoubtedly worked".
Mr Jeremy explained: "What he really gave, apart from generous presents, was the company and interest of a celebrity. It is easy to imagine how these young men would have felt, flattered and excited to receive the attention of such a person.
"What he was doing was exploiting his celebrity, and that in a funny way is what this case is about, the exploitation of these young men by the use of celebrity."
Mr Jeremy said the pop mogul, charged under his real name, Kenneth George King, had "carved out a career as a pop singer, a record producer, a radio and television presenter and a journalist and achieved fame and a degree of fortune".
When questioned by police, King said he met the boys for "market research" on "sex, drugs and rock and roll" but he denied any sexual assaults.
But the boys said they were subjected to touching, masturbation and buggery after King quizzed them about their sex lives, and aroused them by showing them magazines and films depicting heterosexual sex.
He also hinted he knew girls who would have sex with them and showed them a photograph of a naked woman holding a sign reading: "Let's do it".
After approaching a victim, on foot or drawing up in his Rolls-Royce - registration JK 9000 - King lost no time in "telling them of his fame".
Mr Jeremy said King was a man of "such overwhelming confidence, bordering on arrogance, that it never crossed his mind that young boys would be believed".
The first victim, now 33, was 14 or 15 when he came to London for an family outing from his home in Luton. He and his sister were approached by King in Leicester Square who asked if they knew any music shops. He chatted to them and exchanged phone numbers, inviting the boy to his home.
Soon afterwards the boy came back to London by train and was met at St Pancras by King in his Rolls-Royce. He was driven to Bayswater where King asked him about his hobbies "and suggested he added sex to the list".
After giving the boy records and a signed photograph, King drove him home to Luton and met his parents who were "no doubt impressed and reassured".
On five subsequent visits to King's home the boy was indecently assaulted but he never told anyone. The man, now a painter and decorator, explained: "I hoped, I suppose as a child, to make something of my life." King had sent him a postcard from America saying "perhaps you too will be a megastar".
The second boy was 14 when he met King while on a day trip to London. King took him to a Soho peep show where he undid his trousers and squeezed him. On later visits to his home, which lasted until he was 16, King buggered him several times.
He gave the boy presents and money and a picture of his "friend", Samantha Fox, and promised he could get a woman to have sex with him.
The victim, now 32 with a history of drug addiction and criminality, said: "I liked the aura. I did not like him buggering me. I was waiting for him to get the woman but she never did materialise."
The third victim, now 30, who met King on a holiday in London, was taken to the mews and indecently assaulted. On another occasion after King tried to bugger him and when he resisted, he drove him home to Shropshire.
Victim four had just emigrated from South Africa with his family when King approached him in the street, invited him home, showed him porn, boasted of his fame, pointed out gold records on the walls, and assaulted him.
He did not tell anyone because he thought he would not be believed. The fifth boy was 15 when King approached him, asked him home and quizzed him about his views on the latest records. He too was indecently assaulted.
In the witness box King denounced the allegations as lies. But he spent most of the time describing his professional achievements and the groups he had led to fame.
The second trial collapsed when an alleged victim, now aged 39, said he had been 16 not 15 when he had sexual contact with King and did not object at the time. Accordingly, in the absence of any evidence of assault, the prosecution failed because it had not begun within the statutory 12-month limit.
The man had told the court that he met King at the Walton Hop, a disco in Walton on Thames, and had accepted a lift home in his car.
On the way, King stopped the car and performed oral sex on him. King dropped him home and gave him £20 - "a week's wages" in the late 1970s, said the man. Although he "felt like a frozen rabbit" he accepted another lift a week later when King parked in a secluded area and buggered him. He said: "It was all quite surgical, there was no foreplay."
Nervously twisting his wedding ring, the man agreed: "I knew what was going to happen, call it consent."
Ronald Thwaites, QC, for King, said in mitigation that his client had never used violence, coercion or threats.
He now faced a bleak future in prison because of his fame and the nature of his offences. It would be too late when he was released to resume his career and he would probably be barred from revisiting America. He would not find "the sanctuary of anonymity".