The Olympic gold medalist on trial for historical sex offences against three young girls has defended sharing a bunk bed with a student, saying she was hypothermic and needed the warmth.

Arthur Parkin was on trial this week facing five charges of indecently assaulting three young girls.

The alleged offending occurred between 1975 and 1983 in Whangarei, Auckland and Coromandel.

Today, the court heard more about the camping trip in the Coromandel in which the third complainant alleges she was indecently assaulted by Parkin.


Parkin said the group had tramped in bad weather and that he had slept alongside the girl because she was hypothermic.

Crown prosecutor Fiona Culliney asked if Parkin had considered putting her alongside another female student rather than an adult man.

"No," he said.

Culliney asked Parkin if he thought it was "manipulative" to arrange to be in a bed with a thirteen-year-old.

"My only concern was the children's safety and welfare," he said.

"We did exactly the right thing in terms of hypothermia."

Parkin denied "spooning" the girl and insisted they were "top and tailing".

He also denied waking up with an erection and groping her.

Culliney asked Parkin if he had thought of offering her his sleeping bag, which was of a better quality than her own.

Parkin said he had not.

"Sleeping bags are a slightly personal thing, dare I say," he said.

Parkin's testimony comes after the three complainants spoke out against him this week.

Culliney said the allegations towards Parkin were "startlingly similar" and asked if he wanted to "own up" to what he had done.

They were all underdeveloped girls and were touched largely the same way, Culliney said.

"Your niche was 11 to 12-year-olds," she said.

"My niche was my wife," Parkin said.

At the time of the alleged offending Parkin was a well-known name for his sporting accomplishments, having won gold as a part of the Black Sticks team at the Montreal Games in 1976.