A sex offender convicted of offences in New Zealand, Australia and Britain who sued an alleged victim while he was in prison has walked free after the Court of Appeal granted him a retrial and his alleged victim refused to face him in court again.

Between Australia, Britain and finally New Zealand, Graham Ashley Robert Palmer has been convicted of more than 40 offences ranging from indecently exposing himself to doing an indecent act, dishonesty and fraud, including New Zealand's largest GST fraud, $2.6 million from the IRD.

He has sued police officers, lawyers, Telecom, the manufacturer of an automated public toilet he claimed led to a conviction for indecency, a psychiatrist who wrote favourable reports on him, and the superintendent of Paremoremo Prison.

The Solicitor-General was asked to consider Palmer a vexatious litigant and a High Court decision temporarily banned him from bringing further civil proceedings without the court's permission.

In the High Court at Auckland yesterday, Justice Mark Cooper said he was pleased to see the matter finally resolved.

Palmer was convicted of offences against three complainants, including two counts of sexual violation against the woman in 1999.

In April 2000 he was sentenced to preventive detention. He appealed, however, and the Court of Appeal, in April this year, ordered a retrial.

In the meantime, however, between August 2000 and August 2003 Palmer sued the woman's boyfriend and sued the woman twice, once claiming she had perjured herself on the stand during the trial and again for malicious prosecution.

Crown prosecutor Philip Hamlin said yesterday that for many reasons the complainant did not want to proceed with a second trial and for that reason the Crown offered no evidence.

"She does not say the allegations she made did not occur, but she does not wish to proceed," Mr Hamlin said.

Because Palmer was sentenced to preventive detention, he could have faced a term of supervision on release.

Dropping the charges, however, meant Palmer was now "free to go", as Justice Cooper said yesterday.

The other charges he was convicted of only carry terms of up to seven years in prison.

Palmer masturbated a number of times in front of a child and in relation to the other charge masturbated in front of two girls while sitting in a vehicle.

John Rowan, QC, for Palmer said he wanted to ensure any new sentence did not see Palmer go back to prison.

Justice Cooper said the youth of the complainants, the repetitive nature of Palmer's offending and his previous convictions warranted a sentence of 2 1/2 years for the first charge and six months for the second, but Palmer had already served that.

"He is now free to go," Justice Cooper said.

Palmer is still pursuing a case to change guilty pleas he gave when charged with GST fraud.

Last October the Court of Appeal overturned Palmer's 1988 convictions for fraud, theft, forgery and perverting the course of justice and gave him leave to appeal and apply to withdraw his guilty pleas in the High Court. He will reappear on that matter next month.