School marks missing boy's graduation
November 17, 2006 12:00
DANIEL Morcombe might have joined scores of other teenagers heading toSchoolies week today on the eve of what would have been his high schoolgraduation.
Daniel was 13 when he was abducted while waiting at a bus stop on a highwaynear his home in Sunshine Coast hinterland on December 7, 2003.
Despite a massive media appeal that has lasted three years, police have neversolved his disappearance.
Today he would have graduated from Year 12.
Siena Catholic College principal Graeme Hight said today had been one ofcelebration and sadness as Year 12 students remembered their classmate.
Students from what would have been Daniel's graduating class wore red ribbonsand on a procession through the school to mark their graduation they stopped offto pay their respects at "Daniel's chair" - a special timber bench at the schooldedicated to him.
"I was just quite stunned," Mr Hight said.
"All 134 kids just walked straight towards it, not a word, this is aftercoming out of a yahoo, hallelujah assembly.
"For the kids it's wonderful, they're finished and everything like that butthey were quite keen to take the time to stop and reflect on that Daniel shouldhave been here as well.
"It did cut a few of the kids deep and some of the girls walked away in tearsfrom it all."
Mr Hight said Daniel's parents Denise and Bruce had been invited to thegraduation but declined because they said it would have been too difficult.
Daniel's twin brother Brad has already left school for full-timework.
Townsville man sentenced for child sex offences
A 52-year-old man from Townsville in Queensland has been sentenced to 10years' jail for child sex offences in the New South Wales town of Mudgee in the1980s.
The man, who cannot be identified, pleaded guilty to 10 offences between 1980and 1984 which started when his victim was five years old.
The man was released from jail yesterday after being sentenced in the DubboDistrict Court because he has already served 15 years in prison.
He was convicted of similar offences in 1988 which happened when he moved toQueensland with the girl.
Molesting teacher jailed after appeal
By Suzanne Klotz
November 17, 2006 12:00
A FORMER north Queensland high school teacher has been jailed after a courtoverturned his suspended sentence for molesting a female student.
Steven Peter Quick, 29, of Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast, originallyavoided jail when Brisbane District Court Judge Ian Dearden sentenced him to awholly suspended 18-month jail term and 12-month intensive correction order.
The Queensland Court of Appeal today overturned the sentence and substitutedit with 18 months' jail, suspended after three months.
Quick had pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court in August this yearto charges of indecent dealing and taking an indecent image of a child.
The 14-year-old girl had developed a crush on Quick, a schoolteacher inCollinsville, a mining town 270km northwest of Mackay.
Quick allowed the relationship to develop and visited the girl at her homeduring September school holidays in 2004.
The pair went for a drive and Quick later videotaped himself fondling andsucking the girl's breasts.
Quick continued to email and text message the girl until her fatherdiscovered some images of the pair on his daughter's computer.
Quick also sent her an SMS threatening to harm her if she didn't lie to theauthorities about what he did.
In a two-to-one ruling, the Court of Appeal, headed by Chief Justice Paul deJersey, set aside the intensive correction order and imposed the jailsentence.
Justice de Jersey found that Judge Dearden didn't take enough notice of thedamage done to the victim, that he incorrectly regarded as relevant that shegave "some level of consent", and that he did not give enough weight to Quick'sthreats to harm the girl.
The chief justice also found that Quick's remorse was only self-pitying andhe lacked true insight into the damage he had done.
The state's Attorney-General had appealed the original sentence arguing itwas too light and that Quick should have served actual jail time of up to sixmonths for the offences.
Ex-mayor on child sex charges
November 17, 2006 - 5:05PM
A former Victorian mayor has been arrested and charged with sexual offencesagainst a child under 16 years of age.
Gregory Thomas Harris, the former mayor of the then Greater Dandenong,appeared briefly today in Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Harris, 54, who was mayor in 1997, is charged with offences allegedlycommitted in Hallam between August, 2004, and earlier this week.
He is charged with committing six acts of anal or oral sexual penetrationagainst the child on August 16, 2004.
Harris is also charged with six similar acts between August 16, 2004, andNovember 11 this year.
Other charges allegedly committed earlier this month involve committing anindecent act in the presence of a child under 16 and two counts of possessingphotographs that depicted an apparent minor in sexual activity.
Prosecutor Louisa Dipietrantonio asked magistrate Peter Couzens to list thecharges on the court's sexual offences management list.
Harris, of Hallam, who did not apply for bail, was remanded in court untilnext Friday.
Guilty: 29 years later
November 17, 2006 12:00am
A MAN who sexually assaulted a child after grabbing her from a suburbanMelbourne laneway almost 30 years ago today pleaded guilty.
He was arrested earlier this year after applying for a job as FatherChristmas and failing a background check.
Raymond Wayne O'Brien, 51, was initially charged in November 1977 but gavepolice a false name then absconded.
He is facing three counts of indecent assault for the random attack on the11-year-old girl in Oakleigh in Melbourne's south east.
Victorian County Court Judge Michael Bourke said under modern legislation,O'Brien could face tough charges of sexually penetrating a child, or rape.
However, he must be sentenced under the 1977 law, Judge Bourke said.
O'Brien's victim sobbed in court as his charges and her own victim impactstatement were read out.
Her statement describes how the assault traumatised her, forced her to leaveschool early and has inhibited her relationships.
She says she still suffers nightmares and feels unsafe in her own home.
The pre-sentence hearing continues.
Jail for sex act
November 17, 2006
A WARRNAMBOOL man was yesterday jailed for three years and eight months afterpleading guilty to having sex with a teenage babysitter almost 10 years ago.
Gene Patrick Lane, 38, of Archibald Street, pleaded guilty in the WarrnamboolCounty Court two weeks ago to two counts of sexual penetration of a person under16 years and one charge of committing an indecent act with someone aged under 16years.
Crown prosecutor David Cordy previously told the court that the victim wasbabysitting Lane's child while his then wife was in hospital.
When watching television one night Lane gave the girl a massage which led tohim having sex with her.
Judge John Barnett said the girl wrote about the experience in her diary andLane told his then wife before they separated in 1997.
Police started an investigation when they became aware of allegations lastyear.
He said since that time Lane had remarried, now had two young children andthe defendant was a full-time carer for his wife who suffered from multiplesclerosis.
Judge Barnett said he understood Lane being jailed would cause his familysevere hardship.
He said the victim had suffered for a considerable period of time and onlyreported the matter to police when she became mature in an effort to achievepeace of mind.
Judge Barnett said there was a significant age difference between Lane andhis victim and Lane had been in a position of trust.
He said there was no alternative other than an immediate term ofimprisonment.
Lane was sentenced to serve three years and eight months in jail with anon-parole period of two years.
Charges portray troubled family
KATE McCLYMONT and GREG RAY. Herald. Newcastle, N.S.W.:Nov 16, 2006. p. 4
FORMER abattoir worker Patrick John Roughan, 62, charged yesterday with the
aggravated sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl, is not the only member ofhis
family facing a legal battle.
Roughan's half-sister Katherine Knight is serving a life sentence forstabbing,
beheading and skinning her partner and his son, James, is facing a possible
life sentence for allegedly stabbing and decapitating a homeless teenager.
Formerly a campaign worker for sacked NSW Aboriginal affairs minister Milton
Orkopoulos, Roughan was briefly assistant federal secretary of theMeatworker's
Union. He ran a bitter, decade-long legal battle against the union after his
position was abolished.
A long-term organiser with the union, Roughan was pivotal in organising the
legendary picket of Mudginberri Station, east of Darwin, in 1985.
Roughan and his half-sister come from a family of slaughterhouse workers.
Knight, a boner at the Aberdeen abattoir, stabbed defacto husband John Price37
times in February 2000. She then skinned his body, cooking him withvegetables
and making soup with his head.
In September this year, Knight lost her appeal against her life sentence.
Roughan's 25-year-old son James Patrick also faces a possible life sentenceif
He will face court in Brisbane next March charged over a grisly murder inwhich
he is accused of stabbing a homeless teenager and then using his decapitated
head as a bowling ball.
He and Christopher Clark Jones, 22, have been charged with murder and
interfering with the corpse of Morgan Jay Shepherd, 17.
Mr Shepherd was allegedly stabbed more than 100 times by the two friends on
March 29, 2005 after an afternoon of drinking at their home.
Earlier this year, prosecutor Don McKenzie told the Queensland Supreme Court
that "either Mr Roughan or Mr Jones, or both, stabbed Shepherd in excess of100
times and cut off his head."
Mr McKenzie said Roughan and Jones had blamed each other for the murder.
Jones had told police Roughan had decapitated the body with a saw and playeda
"very strange game" with the head.
"At one stage it was indicated the head was placed on a paw paw stump andspun
around and laughed at," Mr McKenzie said.
Patrick Roughan was the eldest of four sons that his mother Barbara had with
abattoir worker Jack Roughan before leaving him for fellow worker Ken Knight.
Barbara went on to have several more children with Knight, one of whom was
Interviewed for Peter Lalor's book Blood Stain, which dealt with the Knight
murder, Patrick's brother Barry was quoted as saying: "If you dig deep enough
it's as grubby as all shit, our family. As grubby as shit. Mate, the familyis
rotten to the core."
Rapist blames spider; Mental issue after bite
GR. Herald. Newcastle, N.S.W.:Nov 16, 2006. p. 25
A MAN claimed to have been affected by a funnel web spider bite when he
kidnapped a woman nine years ago and raped her, Newcastle Local Court wastold
Documents before the court said Philip Ronald Spiers approached the woman on
October 2, 1997, at a Maitland district car park and asked the time.
When she said it was 10.15am, he produced a steak knife and told her: "If you
do what I tell you, you will not get hurt," the documents said.
He forced the woman, 18, into her car's boot and drove to his Thornton home.
Along the way, he administered to her four panadeine forte tablets andalcohol
and bound her with duct tape.
Spiers, 41, mechanic, of Park Avenue, Kotara, pleaded guilty to having taken
away the young woman at Maitland and other places between 10.30am and 2.30pm
with intent to hold her for his advantage.
He pleaded guilty to administering a stupefying drug, panadeine forte, to the
woman between Maitland and Thornton with intent to have sexual intercourse
without consent, and guilty to having at Thornton and other places threatened
to cause her bodily harm with a knife when he had sexual intercourse with her
without her consent.
Senior Constable Jason Robbs said in a tendered statement that Spierscommitted
three sexual acts with the woman, one in the boot and two on the garagefloor.
Spiers wiped her down with a cleaning product and took her bank cards, watch
Senior Constable Robbs said Spiers forced the woman back into the boot, drove
the car to Lorn, parked it under a tree and left the scene. A relative found
The policeman said Spiers activated the woman's bank account with a cardlater
that day and early the next day and withdrew $900.
He said police arrested Spiers last year after receiving new information.When
interviewed, a remorseful Spiers said he was suffering at the time from bad
headaches and "some sort of mental issue" after being bitten by what was
believed to be a funnel web spider in the weeks before the incident.
Magistrate Michael Morahan committed Spiers to Newcastle District Court for
sentence on the three charges.
Bond for owner of child porn
GR. Herald. Newcastle, N.S.W.:Nov 16, 2006. p. 25
A JUDGE said yesterday he did not think that a young man who admitted child
pornography offences at Jewells was a pedophile.
Judge Ralph Coolahan made the comment in Newcastle District Court before
putting Callan James Fing, of Dalrymple Street, Jewells, on a three-year bond
with supervisory conditions.
The judge said it was highly unlikely Fing would reoffend.
Fing, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts each of having possessed and
disseminated child pornography at Jewells between about July 26 and about
August 2 last year.
100,000 CHILD PORN IMAGES; Wollongong man pleads guilty Child porn guiltyplea
LAUREL-LEE RODERICK. Illawarra Mercury. Wollongong, N.S.W.:Nov 16, 2006. p. 1
MORE than 100,000 pornographic images, showing girls as young as seven, were
found on a Wollongong tradesman's computer after it was seized in a police
Police attached to Strike Force Otaki seized Barry Carmody's computer fromhis
Bank St unit on August 4 as part of an ongoing investigation into child
exploitation and pornography.
Carmody appeared in Wollongong Local Court yesterday on one count ofpossessing
The 43-year-old had pleaded guilty to the offence and was due to besentenced.
But Magistrate Chris McRobert adjourned the matter so a further pre-sentence
report could be prepared.
Police facts tendered to the court said Australian Federal Police had
identified Carmody's credit card was being used to access child pornography
When investigators examined his computer, they located two hard drives which
contained more than 100,000 images. About 71,000 of those were analysed andthe
majority showed young girls.
Thousands of the images showed girls aged from seven to 14, posing insexually
explicit and suggestive positions. Many of them were naked, while others were
wearing only brief swimwear.
Police also located images which showed characters from The Simpsons cartoon
series engaged in sexually explicit activity.
There were also digitally edited images of girls aged 10 to 12 participatingin
sex acts with an adult male.
In an interview with police, Carmody admitted he used his credit card to buy
child pornography over the internet in 2003.
He also said he had downloaded images of eight to nine-year-old girls as
recently as August 3 - the day before the police raid.
Carmody will be sentenced on December 20.
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Hardwick, Marshall moved to January
LOCAL Gilbert John Hardwick (56), of Tunbridge Street, Margaret River, has been remanded for a status conference in Bunbury District Court on Wednesday, January 31, facing charges of indecent dealing of a child under 13 years, and possession of child pornography.
Earlier this year police executed a search warrant on Mr Hardwick's property and found a sophisticated computer network and storage devices containing child pornography.
In the same session Paul Ian Marshall, (47), of Cowaramup, was remanded for a status conference on the same date.
He is charged with procuring a child under 13 years to commit an indecent act, indecent dealing with a child under 13, sexual penetration of a child under 13, and threatening to kill.
Sex monster hunt
NICOLE COX. The Sunday Times. Perth, Western Australia:Nov 12, 2006. p. 10
POLICE are hunting a convicted child-sex monster they have been unable tofind
for more than a year.
Detectives from the child-protection squad issued an alert to find pedophile
John Arthur Lee, 53 -- the first WA man convicted of child-sex tourism
"We are looking for John Arthur Lee, but why we can't disclose," Det-Sen-
Constable Greg Boxshall said. "We don't know where he is and we areinterested
in speaking with him."
refused to say whether Lee was wanted for further offences.
Lee, formerly of Karratha, was convicted of having sex with a girl under 16,
committing indecent acts on girls, possessing child pornography anddisplaying
child pornography. He was sentenced to 11 years' jail, with a non-paroleperiod
of six years, and was released from jail in 2002.
The Parole Board refused to tell The Sunday Times whether Lee was on parole.
In 1999, the District Court found Lee had posed in photographs with 14 naked
and semi-naked girls, some as young as 11, in a Phnom Penh hotel room in1997.
Lee smuggled the photos into Australia, placing them between tourist pictures
in photo albums.
But when he bragged about his exploits to a colleague, a police search of his
home found between 250 and 300 sexually explicit
Anti-child abuse groups feared children might have been at risk.
Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse spokeswoman Michelle Stubbs said
yesterday there was grave concern that police could not find Lee.
"I'm alarmed police can't find him, even by way of utilising the other states
to track him. They have set up the (Australian
National Child Offender) register for very clear reasons that need to be
adhered to," she said.
Under the register, anyone convicted of sexual or serious offences against
children must give police their address, employment details, car registration
and details of places they frequent. They must also surrender informationabout
clubs they belong to and details of any travel plans.
The register includes offences dating to February 1, 1997, but an offendermust
have two convictions before their name is added.
But by law, the names of people listed on the register cannot be disclosed
Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive Joe Tucci said researchshowed
one child was abused in Australia every two minutes and recidivism ratesamong
sex offenders were high, with 60 per cent likely to reoffend if they did not
"There are few laws that enable police powers to be effective in tracking sex
offenders," he said.
"It shows there needs to be tougher legislation in WA to track them, perhaps
even electronic tagging of sex offenders."
Police censured for major breaches
CHRIS SALTER, POLICE REPORTER. The Advertiser. Adelaide, S. Aust.:Nov 15,
2006. p. 39
THE number of police facing serious internal charges has dramatically
increased, as police consider whether to allow disciplinary tribunal
proceedings to be reported.
Figures in the South Australian police annual report, tabled in Parliament
yesterday, show there were 46 major investigations into officers' conductlast
Officers were found guilty of breaches including acting without honesty and
integrity, using unnecessary force, conflicts of interests, accessing or
releasing confidential information and misuse of government property.
Of the 46 cases, 29 officers were disciplined - including suspension,transfer
or demotion - and five resigned.
Nine cases were withdrawn and three were not proven. In 2004-05, there were30
cases heard by the tribunal, while there were 23 in 2003-04.
Current laws prevent the reporting of cases dealt with by the Police
Disciplinary Tribunal, although SA police and the police union werediscussing
reforms to the Police Act.
Commissioner Mal Hyde was "comfortable" with opening the police tribunal tothe
public, but wanted protection for whistleblowers.
Key figures in the report included:
DRUG offences rose 17 per cent, with amphetamine offences doubling.
POLICE again failed to meet the benchmark of responding to urgent callswithin
10 minutes 45 per cent of the time, recording 41 per cent.
THE pedophile taskforce received 84 referrals from the Inquiry into Childrenin
State Care. In the last financial year it investigated 53 alleged pedophiles,
charging 19 with more than 200 offences.
Man pleads guilty to child sex assault
A 22-year-old Wendouree man has pleaded guilty to sexual offences against a12-year-old boy in June this year.
Nicholas John Watson appeared in the County Court in Ballarat thismorning.
Watson has pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and indecent acts with achild under 16, and one count each of threat to kill, attempted rape andabduction or detention for the purpose of sexual penetration.
The court heard the offences happened near the Ring Road reserve inWendouree, when the boy was walking to school.
Prosecutor Carolene Gwynn told the court Watson forced the boy onto his bikeand rode him to a more protected area nearby, where the offences took place.
Ms Gwynn said the victim has had his zest for life stolen from him.
She told the court Watson should be automatically placed on the sexoffenders' register and remain on it for the rest of his life.
Watson has been remanded while a pre-sentence report is carriedout.
Rape victim's family speaks out
SEAN FEWSTER, COURT REPORTER
November 15, 2006 04:20pm
INTELLECTUALLY disabled victims need greater support to help them throughcourt proceedings, the family of a raped girl says.
Paul Douglas Plant, 38, of Davroen Park, was today jailed for four years,with a two-year non-parole period.
But the mother and sister of his 20-year-old victim who has a mental age of12 said the sentence would bring her little peace.
"She asked me ‘when the court finishes, will this go out of my head now?’,"the sister said outside The District Court.
"I had no response, no words to explain something like rape never leaves yourmind that shows how innocent a young mind she is.
"The court has systems for child victims and adult victims, but nothing tohelp those trapped in between."
Plant was found guilty by a jury of two counts of rape and two counts ofindecent assault.
He continued to maintain his innocence, and has lodged an appeal.
In sentencing, Judge Andrea Simpson said that, in June 2004, Plant went intothe 20-year-old’s bedroom and groped and raped her.
"You (took) advantage of a young, intellectually disabled woman who wasunable to adequately defend herself," she said.
"All young women in the community are entitled to feel safe in their ownhomes and to expect respect."
Outside court, the girl’s mother said intellectually disabled victims neededa specialist advocate to take them through testimony and trial.
"She wasn’t allowed to give sworn evidence because the judge didn’t know ifshe understood the concept," she said.
"She was asked questions, by the other lawyer, that she didn’t comprehend andso got confused."
Man had 100,000 child porn images
By LAUREL-LEE RODERICK
November 16, 2006
MORE than 100,000 pornographic images, showing girls as young as seven, werefound on a Wollongong tradesman's computer after it was seized in a policeraid.
Police attached to Strike Force Otaki seized Barry Carmody's computer fromhis Bank St unit on August 4 as part of an ongoing investigation into childexploitation and pornography.
Carmody appeared in Wollongong Local Court yesterday on one count ofpossessing child pornography.
The 43-year-old had pleaded guilty to the offence and was due to besentenced. But Magistrate Chris McRobert adjourned the matter so a furtherpre-sentence report could be prepared.
Police facts tendered to the court said Australian Federal Policehad
identified Carmody's credit card was being used to access childpornography websites
Threat to super last straw
By Joe Hildebrand, Political Reporter
November 16, 2006 12:00
ACCUSED paedophile Milton Orkopoulos is thought to have been pushed over theedge by the prospect of losing his $60,000 a year pension Â¿ prompting amysterious call to Finance Minister John Della Bosca before his suicidebid.
Orkopoulos, 49, who is facing 30 drug and child sex charges, was yesterday ina stable condition at Newcastle's Mater Misericordiae Hospital after being foundslumped at the wheel of his car in nearby Charlestown early Tuesdayafternoon.
Sources told The Daily Telegraph they believed Orkopoulos wasconcerned by Government moves to deny him access to his superannuation.
As Finance Minister, Mr Della Bosca was responsible for pushing the changesthrough the party room on Tuesday, sparking concerns among many MPs – especiallythose on the Left.
It is suspected someone in caucus may have told Orkopoulos about Mr DellaBosca's proposal, prompting him to call and text the minister shortly before hissuicide attempt.
"You'd have to think that with Della leading the charge on the super changesthat would cause a lot of apprehension to Milton, because he's not going to getanother job," one key MP said.
There have also been suggestions that Orkopoulos was concerned whether hisfamily would be entitled to his superannuation if he was to die.
While Mr Della Bosca was influential in elevating Orkopoulos to theAboriginal affairs ministry, the two men were not particularly close.
No one in the Government contacted by The Daily Telegraph put forwardan alternative reason for the call from Orkopoulos to the Finance Minister onTuesday afternoon.
Mr Della Bosca yesterday confirmed he had received a voice message and a textmessage from Orkopoulos on Tuesday but said he never spoke to him.
"When I heard the message I became concerned for his safety because he wasobviously distressed," he said.
"I contacted NSW Police and my chief of staff spoke with Hunter-New EnglandArea Health."
He would not confirm or deny the messages related to superannuation.
Earlier Mr Della Bosca told Parliament he had not spoken to Orkopoulos:"Madam President, I had no conversations with Mr Orkopoulos yesterday."
A friend of Orkopoulos and the frontrunner to replace him, Lake Macquariecouncillor Kay Fraser, said his family was in a state of shock.
"His family's obviously reeling from all this and I feel sorry for them. Ireally think it's very sad, especially for his wife and daughters. My heart justgoes out to them," she said.
Orkopoulos was in a stable condition yesterday in intensive care.
She refused to reveal whether Orkopoulos needed surgery or if his family waswith him.
Meanwhile, Premier Morris Iemma was again under fire yesterday over when hefirst heard rumours about Orkopoulos and why he didn't move then to expel himfrom the ALP.
Quizzed by Opposition Leader Peter Debnam during Question Time, Mr Iemmarefused to say when he first knew of the allegations, instead challenging MrDebnam on when he became aware.
Mr Iemma pointed to comments Mr Debnam made saying he was aware ofallegations against Orkopoulos three weeks ago.
Mr Iemma also accused the Opposition of an "outrageous slur" for asking himif any more of his ministers were under investigation.
Mr Debnam had asked Mr Iemma whether other ministers were being investigatedby law enforcement.
"To the best of my knowledge, none, and you know that that is an outrageousslur on the members of this Parliament," Mr Iemma replied.
Orkopoulos resigned from Parliament on Monday after being charged withsupplying drugs to two teenage boys and using government funds to pay one ofthem for sex.
He has declared he is innocent of the charges against him and was freed on$20,000 bail. He is due to reappear in court on January 31.
New Labor child sex arrest
By Joe Hildebrand and Neil Keene
November 16, 2006 12:00
A SECOND Labor figure faced court yesterday on child-sex charges as the IemmaGovernment tried to turn the heat on the Opposition by claiming Liberal leaderPeter Debnam misled Parliament.
Patrick John Roughan – Milton Orkopoulos' former campaign manager – appearedbriefly in Newcastle Local Court facing one count of aggravated sexual assaulton a victim aged under 16 and one count of sexual intercourse with a victim agedunder 10. Both charges relate to the same alleged victim – a 10-year-old girlwho cannot be identified.
His court appearance came as Premier Morris Iemma demanded Mr Debnam quit forwrongly suggesting that a minister – believed to be Police Minister John Watkins– was under investigation by the Police Integrity Commission for criminalnegligence.
Police arrested Roughan, 62, about 9.40 on Tuesday night after aninvestigation by Newcastle's Joint Investigative Team, a collaboration ofdetectives and the Department of Community Services.
It is understood the allegations were raised earlier this year butinvestigations intensified last week after police secured fresh information.
Police allege the former Swansea ALP branch president had sex with the girlat Caves Beach, Lake Macquarie, last year, some time between November 1 andDecember 21.
He allegedly sexually assaulted her again, in January or February thisyear.
Roughan had his head bowed yesterday as he was led to the dock.
A sole relative in the public gallery was his only support.
The hearing lasted less than a minute as Magistrate Michael Morahan grantedbail without argument from the Director of Public Prosecutions, despite anearlier police move to keep Roughan behind bars.
As he left court, Roughan masked his face with a sweater, dark glasses and acap. "I have nothing to say," he said.
Friends and associates of Roughan were shocked at the charges. Federal LaborMP Jill Hall, for whom he also once worked as a campaign manager, was visiblyshaken by recent events.
A former colleague at the Meatworkers Union, where Roughan once worked as anorganiser, said he was stunned.
Speaking outside the court, prosecutor Kerry Wand said bail was not opposedbecause the conditions attached were enough to keep Roughan in check until hisnext appearance on January 24.
Under his bail conditions, Roughan must report to Belmont police station oncea week and is not allowed within 500m of the alleged victim's Swansea home. Heis also prohibited from approaching any potential Crown witnesses to thecase.
Pedophile conman jailed for fraud
By Katherine Field
November 15, 2006 12:00
A KNOWN Sydney pedophile and conman impersonator has been jailed for at least15 months on fraud and other charges.
Barry Faulkner, 57, had pleaded guilty in Sydney's Waverley Local Court to arange of fraud charges, including two of obtaining money by deception.
Described in the police fact sheet as a known pedophile, Faulkner alsopleaded guilty to failing to meet the requirements of the Child ProtectionRegister.
He had failed to report to police since being notified to do so last year,the court was told.
Magistrate Jayeann Carney said Faulkner was "disingenuous" and had "acomprehensive interstate record of dishonesty".
The court was told he duped a Sydney monorail worker and his friends intoparting with almost $7000 in January this year.
When he was arrested in May at his housing department unit in Mascot, inSydney's southeast, he presented police with false identification, includingcredit and Medicare cards.
He had also posed as a courier and gained access to discount luxury goodssuch as laptops, wide-screen plasma TVs, cameras and liquor.
Ms Carney today sentenced Faulkner to 16 months jail with a non-parole periodof 15 months.
She said Faulkner was an intelligent man who "knew what he was doing", andwho had no empathy for his victims.
Faulkner nodded as his sentence was read out.
"He is one of the most disingenuous people ... I've come across in recenttimes," Ms Carney said.
But she said Faulkner had suffered from mental conditions after beingabandoned as a baby. She also took into account his depression and thelikelihood that he suffered from anti-social personality disorder.
He had been institutionalised and "knows no better way of coping", Ms Carneysaid, adding Faulkner would need extensive support and supervision on hisrelease.
With time already served Faulkner will be eligible for parole in October2007.
Record high for child protection orders
November 15, 2006 12:00
A RECORD number of child protection orders have been issued by Queensland'sDepartment of Child Safety in the past year, despite a decrease in the number ofnotifications alleging harm.
The department's annual report, tabled in state Parliament, has shown 6446children are now under state protection orders, up from 5857 in the previousfinancial year.
However the number of notifications alleging harm or risk to children droppedfrom 40,829 to 33,612 in the same period.
The department paid particular attention to the protection of the state'sindigenous children during the past year.
The Child Safety Legislation Amendment Act 2005 included provisions tostrengthen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child placement principleand ramped up requirements to consult indigenous agency stakeholders.
"The department is working collaboratively with indigenous communities toaddress the issue of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander children and young people in the child protection system," saiddepartment director-general Robin Sullivan.
More than half of the child protection orders issued in the last year were toindigenous children, and a new campaign to recruit carers from culturallydiverse backgrounds attracted 1800 new inquiries about becoming a foster family.
The department has approved 251 new foster carer families since the campaignbegan in September last year, and has provisionally approved an additional 299.
It has also established 234 new or enhanced places for children needingspecialised foster care, and has provided almost $10 million in funding toDisability Services Queensland and Queensland Health to provide additionalservices.
The department has implemented 95 of the 110 recommendations outlined in theCrime and Misconduct Commission's (CMC) report Protecting Children: An Inquiryinto Abuse of Children in Care.
These included new legislation and child protections policies, practices andsupport tools, increased placement options and improved support and training forstaff and foster carers.
Staffing levels have increased by 15.68 per cent, and the department alsojoined forces with a number of Queensland universities to develop specialisedchild protection courses.
The budget for child protection in Queensland will increase from $393.5million to $503.1 million during the next year.
Sex scandal aide bailed
November 15, 2006 12:00
A LABOR official who worked for shamed Milton Orkopoulos has been bailedafter being arrested and charged with child sex offences.
The Daily Telegraph Online broke the news that police arrested PatrickJohn Roughan, 62, at his home in Caves Beach, near Newcastle, early thismorning.
Roughan worked in the Newcastle office of shamed former Aboriginal AffairsMinister Orkopoulos - who is in hospital after a suicide bid yesterday - and asa branch official for other Labor MPs.
The day after Orkopoulos wasarrested, police announced they were re-opening an investigation into a possiblechild sexual assault by Roughan.
Police re-interviewed the mother of two girls allegedly assaulted.
Roughan, who was Orkopoulos' campaign distribution manager, was chargedwith one count each of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 10 andaggravated sexual assault of a child under 16 years.
He appeared in Newcastle Local Court today where he was granted conditionalbail. The matter was adjourned to be heard in the same court on January 24.
Last week Roughan denied the claims, both to media and senior officials ofthe Iemma Government.
Former colleague, the Federal Member for ShortlandJill Hall said today she was shocked by the arrest but could not comment foroperational reasons.
The arrest came after alleged child sex offender Orkopoulos was rushed tohospital yesterday after consuming a cocktail of chemicals.
His wife Kathy was at his bedside last night as doctors declared him to be ina serious but stable condition.
The former MP – who resigned from Parliament on Monday after being chargedwith 30 child sex and drug offences – was found slumped over the wheel of hissilver Holden Barina about 2pm.
He was parked behind trees under a water tower, 10m off the Pacific Highwayat Charlestown, near Newcastle.
Ambulance officers took the 49-year-old father of three to the MaterMisericordiae Hospital in Waratah. It was reported he may have consumedfertiliser.
Distraught brother George Orkopoulos did not know the condition of hisbrother when contacted and blamed the Government for convicting him before hehad a chance to defend the charges.
"How do you think he is?" he said to The Daily Telegraph.
"Why don't we just burn down the courthouses . . . we obviously don't needthem, do we?"
Orkopoulos's suicide attempt came only minutes before Premier Morris Iemma –unaware of the events unfolding in Newcastle – told Parliament all MPscontesting the next election would be subjected to background checks on sexualoffences.
In an attempt to deflect criticism that Labor MP John Mills had known of sexallegations against Orkopoulos 10 years ago – as revealed last week by TheDaily Telegraph – Mr Iemma said legislation would be passed to force all MPsto declare any history of offences.
The NSW Opposition said it would defer airing a series of televisionadvertisements attacking the Government – scheduled to run last night – out ofrespect for the Orkopoulos family.
"Everyone would be distressed regardless of the circumstances," Oppositionleader Peter Debnam said.
A hospital spokesman said late yesterday that Orkopoulos had been stabilisedin the emergency department and at 4pm was admitted to intensive care.
It is understood police also attended the water tower after receiving callsfrom locals and a parish priest, a close friend to Orkopoulos, who reportedlyquestioned his behaviour.
An ambulance crew had been sent at 1.45pm and found Orkopoulos conscious butin a "serious" condition.
"It was a call to someone conscious and breathing but with abnormalbehaviour," an ambulance officer said.
The Mater Hospital is home to the Hunter New England Area Health toxicologydepartment and specialises in poisonings.
Orkopoulos, 49, who had been the MP for the Hunter-based seat of Swanseasince 1999, was last week charged with 30 sex and drug offences relating to twoteenage boys.
A fuming Mr Iemma yesterday put his foot down with his MPs.
Addressing the ALP caucus for the first time since his Government was sluggedwith its worst two weeks ever, the Premier "read them the riot act", accordingto sources.
By Charles Miranda, Neil Keene and Simon Benson.
Direct from the House of Zig
Suzanne Carbone and Lawrence Money
November 15, 2006
WHATEVER happened to Zig, the disgraced half of the famous Melbourne clowns? Doug McKenzie, the better half, turned up his curly toes two years agobut Diary has not heard a word about Zig, Jack Perry, until now, althoughwe're none the wiser if he's still with us. Diary had a call from SouthMelbourne: the Salvos store in Clarendon Street has been selling his stuff.Kitchen chairs, a bedroom dresser with mirror, two bedside cabinets, alloptimistically marked: "heritage" and "Once belonged to Zig the Clown".
The lady at the counter said she had never heard of Zig and Zag but the "menwho collected it said that was where it came from".
You remember the tragic saga: after four decades of frolicking with the kids,starring in Moomba and on ankle-biter television, Zig and Zag were finally madeMoomba monarchs in 1999 but the reign was over before it began. Suddenly it wasrevealed that, years before, Zig had pleaded guilty to child molestation and he(and, hence, hapless Zag) was dethroned. Zig and Zag never spoke to each otheragain. If still alive, Zig would be 89 now.
But his furniture goes marching on!
Free to kill
Tony Keim and Paula Doneman
November 14, 2006 11:00pm
A CONVICTED sex predator will be sentenced today for abducting and murderinghis Ipswich neighbour while out on early parole against prison advice.
Paul Anthony Vaughan – jailed for five years in May 2000 after kidnapping andattempting to rape a teenage girl – was released on parole for that crime afterserving only two years. On August 30, 2004 – two years after leaving jail – heabducted Nina Lewis, 26, from her Leichardt home. Vaughan killed her five monthsshort of his full time release date.
In 2002, prison authorities opposed Vaughan's release when he applied to theQueensland West Moreton Regional Community Board for parole. He was released onMay 13, 2002.
Vaughan's low intellect meant he could not complete the sex offendertreatment program and his assessment unit report said there was no way topredict if he would re-offend.
"It also stated that there was no other way to assess Vaughan's risk ofrecidivism or if he had adequately addressed his offending behaviour," aCorrective Services spokesman said.
The department also confirmed a home assessment conducted as part ofVaughan's parole application had deemed his plan to move back in with his wifeas unsuitable because she had been convicted as a co-offender in an unrelatedcrime in 1999.
However, the spokesman said the parole board interviewed his wife andoverruled the department, agreeing to the placement in the couple's Aspinall Sthome.
Vaughan now faces life in jail after pleading guilty to Ms Lewis's murder ina pre-trial hearing at the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday.
The Queensland Homicide Victims' Support Group CEO Neville Coventry saidyesterday the circumstances of the case were "appalling" given prisonauthorities had recommended Vaughan not be released.
"It's hard enough to lose a loved one to a heinous act but actually when thishas been allowed to happen and it could have been prevented, it is just an addedburden for the community to carry," he said.
Mr Coventry said new laws introduced this year had tightened the paroleprocess, bolstered resources for offender supervision and given victims a voicein the release of offenders.
In May 2000, District Court Judge Kerry O'Brien jailed Vaughan for five yearsfor his intended rape of a girl, 17, after he forced her into the boot of hiscar near the Moggill bus terminus, in Brisbane's outer western suburbs, a yearearlier.
He recommended Vaughan be eligible to apply for parole after two years.
Ms Lewis, 26, disappeared from her home on August 30, 2004.
Her body was bound and dumped in the Brisbane River at the Kholo Bridge, 10kmfrom her house.
Vaughan, charged with her murder a week later, was last year committed tostand trial on one count each of murder, entering a dwelling, assault withintent to commit rape, deprivation of liberty, interfering with a corpse,unlawful use of a vehicle and arson. He will appear today before Supreme CourtJustice Margaret White.
Little girl faces sixth trial
Re: Little Girl Faces 6th Trial Mr Debus states he would review the matter"with a view to writing to the NSW Judicial Commission''? Mr Debus is aware ofmany a trial gone awry and in desperate need of review, yet his inaction hasbeen remarkable! I have no faith in our justice system, or in many of the peoplewho administer it. His statement is purely to appease kind-hearted folk who feelempathy for this poor child. It is my opinion that he intends to do nothing forthe girl. His only intention is to appease the DPP. It seems to me that manypoliticians (and bureaucrats) in our state government have no intention ofprotecting children, as has become more and more obvious - according to all thehorrendous press it is receiving.
Posted by Michelle Beech at 10:31pm November 13, 2006
Libs drawn into MP sex scandal
It really begs the question: how did these 2 Liberal politicians find out ifthe Premier of NSW is claiming he did not know until hours before the arrest.Either the NSW Police Department leaks like a sieve to the Opposition or thePremier must have his rememberances wrong ! Just doesnt gel with me.
Posted by Michael at 3:52pm November 13, 2006
Family holds vigil at Orkopoulos's bedside
The family of sacked New South Wales government minister Milton Orkopoulos isholding a bedside vigil at a Newcastle hospital, where he is being treated afteran apparent suicide attempt.
The former Aboriginal affairs minister has been under intense pressure sincebeing charged with 30 offences last week, which included supplying drugs andchild sexual assault.
Orkopoulos was brought to the Newcastle Mater Hospital just after 2:00pmAEDT.
He was initially treated in the emergency department.
The ABC understands Orkopoulos went to a popular lookout spot, theCharlestown water tower, where he attempted to take his own life.
He contacted a priest on his mobile phone. The priest then called ambulanceofficers, who found him slumped over the steering wheel barely conscious.
It is believed a quantity of garden chemical was found in the car.
The Mater Hospital says after his condition was stabilised, Orkopoulos wastransferred to the intensive care unit.
Accused tries to stop sex case
Verity Edwards. The Australian. Canberra, A.C.T.:Nov 14, 2006. p. 7
A PROMINENT Adelaide legal identity charged with nine child sex offences is
attempting to halt thecase, claiming his defence has been hampered by the
prosecution's failure to offer evidence of his alleged crimes.
Michael Abbott, appearing for the legal identity, told the AdelaideMagistrates
Court yesterday that prosecutors were abusing the court process because they
had failed to provide 51 documents before yesterday's hearing.
"We've taken out an application for this to be stayed," Mr Abbott told the
"It's an abuse of process because the DPP failed to do anything, provide us
with anything, give anything, since we were last before your honour."
Mr Abbott said he was planning to subpoena the investigating police officerin
the case and Police Commissioner Mal Hyde.
The legal identity, whose name is suppressed in South Australia, was chargedin
August with rape, three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and five counts
of indecent assault following a four- month investigation by a pedophile
The offences, which allegedly occurred between 1980 and 1995, came to light
during the Mullighan inquiry into the abuse of wards of state. The alleged
victims were aged 15 and 16 at the time.
Prosecutor Rosemary Steen told the court that much of the evidence -- which
included videotapes, audio cassettes and photographs -- was still being
examined by police. "The pedophile taskforce is swamped with work," Ms Steen
Ms Steen rejected Mr Abbott's reasons for seeking to halt the case. "It isthe
director's submission that the material already filed is sufficient for acase
to answer -- discovery is an ongoing process," she said.
District Court judge John Herriman called for "greater adherence and greater
focus" from the prosecution in providing the documents.
Justice Herriman granted the prosecution another month to provide evidence to
Mr Abbott. He will consider Mr Abbott's application for a permanent stay in
CBO for `soft' child porn
November 14, 2006
A WARRNAMBOOL man caught up in an international FBI pornography investigationyesterday received a community-based order.
Terrence Anthony Healey, 61, of Angela Court, pleaded guilty in theWarrnambool Magistrates Court to possessing child pornography.
Magistrate Michael Stone said he saw a folder of about 70 images and on ascale of one to 10 rated it about 1.5.
He said the images were more like lingerie advertisements than pornographyand at worst would be described as soft material.
The court heard that the FBI investigation focused on a Russian company andthe use of credit cards relating to 20 different internet sites.
About 70,000 people in the United States and 25,000 around the world,including 717 in Australia, were traced through credit card use.
That had led to Warrnambool police executing a search warrant on February 28this year at Healey's home where they seized a computer, disks, paper andnotes.
The court heard police had found 15 computer disks containing 2200images.
Defence counsel Vince Peters said his client did not realise he was breakingthe law and there was no sexually-explicit material.
Mr Stone said although he had previously jailed people involved with childpornography, Healey's case smudged the definition of pornography. He said thecircumstances must have been very close to not being an offence.
Healey was placed on a nine-month community-based order to do 40 hours' workand undertake assessment and treatment as required.
Sex offender is back in job win
DAN PROUDMAN. Herald. Newcastle, N.S.W.:Nov 14, 2006. p. 3
AN ambulance officer who indecently assaulted a young girl while off duty has
won his job back after arguing he was not a risk to the safety of children.
The NSW Ambulance Service said it was powerless to stop the reinstatement of
the former Hunter Valley officer who was sacked by the service after being
convicted last year of the aggravated indecent assault of a nine-year-oldgirl
The man successfully argued he should not be classed as a prohibited person
under the Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 where it would be
an offence to apply for, undertake or remain in child-related jobs.
He was then able to apply to have his job back as he had been sacked by the
service because of the conviction.
The Ambulance Service confirmed yesterday that although it had initially not
re-employed the man, it was forced to comply with a decision from the
Government and Related Employees Appeal Tribunal which ordered his
reinstatement in September.
The Herald understands the man is working in an operational centre in Sydney
and has a list of conditions on his employment.
They include that he not work as an on-road officer, that he not work in the
Newcastle area and that he not be allowed to wear his uniform to and fromwork.
The news of his reinstatement has shocked the victim's family, who said they
should have been informed of the decision.
"You would have thought they would have contacted us and said this is whathas
happened and we can't do anything about it," the victim's father said
"You always tell your children that if they get into trouble then findsomeone
in a uniform and you can trust them.
"You can't do that now.
"They have thrown [my daughter's] trust in people out the window for a second
In his findings in February, NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal Community
Services Division deputy president Thomas Kelly said the offence was in the
"mid-range of serious sex offences".
Mr Kelly found that assessments from two psychiatrists, the man's contrition
and "the absence of the precipitating facts that existed at the time of the
offence which are not likely to recur" were factors in ruling the Child
Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 did not apply to the man.
NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos told The Herald last night he was "very
concerned" about the decision.
"I don't want people who have been convicted of offences like this in the
ambulance service, and I have asked the ambulance service for advice on what
avenues may be open or changes necessary to address this," he said.
"Although I am advised this person is not in a front line role with anycontact
with the public, I do not want them to be in possession of an ambulance
The man, who was fined $2000 and put on a two-year good behaviour bond forthe
offence, could not be contacted yesterday.
Tourist in custody
The Daily Telegraph. Surry Hills, N.S.W.:Nov 14, 2006. p. 13
A TOURIST was refused bail in Wyong Local Court yesterday after pleadingguilty
to being in possession of child pornography.
Christian Hans Floss, a German national who is on holiday in Australia, was
arrested on Saturday after police said he was caught taking photographs of
naked children at The Entrance.
Police facts tendered to the court said Floss, 61, was seen by a parenttaking
the photographs but was holding his camera down low so as to remain
When police viewed the memory card that had been inside his camera they saw a
number of photographs of small children, including two photographs of a naked
girl, about five; four photographs of another naked girl, about four; and
photographs of a family dressing a small girl.
When police later interviewed Floss he made admissions about taking the
photographs, but said he did not think his actions were wrong because the
children were in a public place.
He also admitted taking similar photographs at Terrigal Beach.
Magistrate Sean Flood remanded Floss in custody to appear in the same courton
Fondle case adjourned
The Cairns Post. Cairns, Qld.:Nov 13, 2006. p. 8
A MIDDLE-aged man who allegedly fondled a girl on the Esplanade will have his
case heard later this year.
Raymond Simon Peter, 44, was remanded in custody on October 12 for two daysfor
the alleged indecent assault of a teenager.
He allegedly felt up the skirt of a 16-year-old girl at the Esplanade on the
afternoon of October 10.
Last month, the Cairns Magistrates Court heard how the girl's father chasedMr
Peter and apprehended him before alerting police.
On Thursday, prosecutor Sgt Andrew Parkinson brought the matter before
magistrate Trevor Black for a committal mention.
Mr Peter was not required to attend.
Magistrate Black adjourned the matter to a date to be confirmed to allow both
the defence and prosecution time to compile submissions
Teacher accused of molesting deaf kids Ex-cricket umpire faces sexcharges
AAP, Brisbane. The Cairns Post. Cairns, Qld.:Nov 11, 2006. p. 22
A FORMER international cricket umpire has faced court in Brisbane on chargesof
molesting and sodomising deaf children he was teaching.
The 55-year-old Brisbane man, who cannot be named under Queensland law,
appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates' Court yesterday on a total of 12charges.
The man faces five charges of indecent assault against males, five of sodomyon
boys, and two counts of indecent assault on girls.
The charges relate to four children and the offences are alleged to have
occurred from 1974 until 1998.
It is alleged the man molested two 14-year-old boys in 1974, and thenassaulted
one 16-year-old girl in 1983.
Another 16-year-old girl was allegedly assaulted in 1998.
At the time, he was a teacher of the deaf,
He left the education system in the late 1990s.
The man, who was also a long standing Queensland umpire, is now retired from
the game and working as a body corporate manager.
The prosecution opposed bail on the basis of the seriousness of the offences,
and the time span in which they were allegedly committed - 25 years.
However, the man's solicitor Peter Shields argued in court yesterday that
police had conducted investigations into many of the allegations many yearsago
and no charges were ever laid.
"My client has an unblemished character," Mr Shields said.
"He is known internationally as a cricket umpire."
Magistrate Noel Nunan granted the man bail, on condition that he have no
contact with the complainants.
He was remanded to reappear for a committal mention in the Brisbane
Magistrates' Court on January 8.
BREAKING NATIONAL NEWS
White van fiend strikes
By James Phelps
November 14, 2006 12:00
POLICE are on the hunt for this man, alleged to be a sexual predator whoprays on young girls in broad-daylight.
Officers have released this image of a man they want to question about theattempted kidnapping of a Sydney teenager, amid fears a serial attacker may beback.
The 14-year-old girl was walking along Herbert St in Dulwich Hill, inSydney's inner west, on November 6, when a man asked her to get into his whiteutility.
When she refused, he drove the ute up behind her and grabbedher by the wrist before attempting to drag her into the car.
Just twoday earlier in nearby Glebe, a 45-year-old woman was raped by a man who crept inthrough her window in the middle of the day.
Strike force Murra has beenset up to investigate the attack.
Police have not yet ruled out theattacks could be related.
"We are treating them as separatedinvestigations ay the moment," a police spokesman said.
"But I can'trule it out. We are calling on the public to help identify the man who webelieve can assist us in our investigation.''
The girl managed to escapeher attacker by running to her nearby school where teachers called police.
The middle-aged women who was attacked in her home wasn't so lucky.
She was taken to Royal Prince Alfred hospital after being raped.
The attacks have sparked fears the inner-west rapist has re-emergedafter laying low for the past two years.
The inner-west rapist isbelieved to be responsible for at least 13 attacks in Sydney's inner-west, StGeorge and the Eastern Suburbs between August 2003 and November 2004.
The white van attack also bears hallmarks of a string of similarattemtped abductions in the inner west more than a year ago - nearly all by aman in a white ute.
Accused pedophile asks embassy for help
From correspondents in Mataram
November 14, 2006 12:00
AUSTRALIAN Donald Storen has asked Canberra to lodge a complaint withIndonesia, asking why a group of boys who accuse him of sexual abuse have notbeen charged with robbing him.
Mr Storen is on trial on the Indonesian island of Lombok over allegationsthat he molested four boys, aged 13 to 15, in exchange for money and otherinducements in June and July this year.
Mr Storen says the abuseallegations only surfaced after the same boys were caught stealing property fromhis hotel room while he was out.
He vehemently denies the allegations andtoday told reporters he'd asked the Australian embassy to make an officialcomplaint to Indonesia about police inaction over the alleged robbery.
"I'm asking as to why the boys that were caught in my room robbing me... aren't in custody," he said from a holding cell at Lombok's Mataram DistrictCourt, where his trial is being held.
"The robbery seems to havedisappeared."
Mr Storen also said defence witnesses due to give evidenceat his trial today would testify that he was having dinner with them on one ofthe nights when the boys said abuse occurred.
"They will verify that Iwas having dinner at the time which the offence was supposed to have happened,"he said.
The witnesses would also testify that the boys "are the onesthat robbed my room," Storen said.
Musician jailed for 17 years for child sex offences
November 14, 2006
THE accomplished musician and composer Gary Maxwell Featherstone has beenjailed for up to 17 years for sexually abusing four boys in the 1980s.
Feathersone, 57, pleaded guilty to 12 charges related to sexual assault ofthe boys, aged between 11 and 14, who he met at summer camps or through achildren's home where he volunteered.
NSW District Court judge JosephGibson described Featherstone as a predator who was at risk ofreoffencding.
Featherstone was sentenced to jail until 2021 but will beeligible for release on parole in 2017.
Child protection advocate HettyJohnston said the sentence sent a strong message to pedophiles in the communitythat crimes against children would not be tolerated.
Featherstone wasentered into the International Who's Who of Music in 2000.
He was listedamong the 2000 outstanding musicians of the 20th Century in the UK and 500leaders of influence in the US and was an examiner for the Music ExaminationsBoard in NSW.
He was also a music teacher at exclusive private schoolsin Sydney.
He was jailed for child pornography offences in 2003.
Further complaints against jailed priest examined
By Paul Osborne
November 13, 2006 12:00
QUEENSLAND police are investigating two further complaints against a formerAnglican priest who was jailed last week for 12 months for sexual assault of aboy.
Robert Francis Sharwood, 62, was sentenced to jail after a jury in theBrisbane District Court found him guilty of sodomy, allowing sodomy and sexualassault involving a boy between 1974 and 1976.
Yesterday, the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Philip Aspinall, confirmedtwo other complaints were being investigated.
"There are two more complainants in the matter and those matters are in thehands of police," Dr Aspinall said.
"I can't say anything about where they are from."
The new complaints emerged as Dr Aspinall came under fire over a letter hereceived from an Anglican priest in 2002 about another incident involvingSharwood in the 1970s.
The letter - from Canon Thomas Hood, reported in The Weekend Australianyesterday, as were the two new complaints - said Sharwood had apologised to theparents of the victim in the incident.
The victim told the newspaper he should have been told about the letter andthe fact that both his parents had known of the "abuse".
Had he known, he said, he could have succeeded in legal action over theincident, because his mother, who has since died, could have given evidence.
Dr Aspinall said yesterday he had been unaware the victim had not known hisparents knew of the abuse.
"I had no way of knowing that the victim didn't know that, and I had no wayof knowing that it would have meant so much to the victim to have known that,"Dr Aspinall said.
"If I had any inkling of those things at the time, then I'm sure I would havemade the letter available."
Dr Aspinall said the church had dealt with the letter in accordance withadvice from the police, to file it and provide it to them on request.
He said the actual abuse allegation was reported to police six months beforereceiving the letter and the church had co-operated with the victim'ssolicitors.
As soon as the church had become aware of the abuse allegations, in early2002, the victim had been provided with counselling, police alerted and thepriest stood aside, Dr Aspinall said.
Man arrested for sexual assault on girl, 13
By Rebekah Cavanagh
November 14, 2006 12:00
A MAN snatched a 13-year-old girl and tried to sexually assault her as sheleft a public toilet in a Northern Territory shopping centre at theweekend.
The schoolgirl went to the toilet at the Karama shopping centre on KalymnosDrive about 9.30pm (ACDT) on Saturday.
She is believed to have been shopping with her grandmother.
When she was leaving the cubicle the man exposed himself to her before tryingto grab her and sexually assault her.
She managed to leave the toilets, but the alleged offender followed and isalleged to have assaulted her in the hallway.
Fortunately the teenager, from Karama, escaped and ran into Coles andapproached a security guard.
The offender fled the scene.
Police searched the area and arrested a 35-year-old man within an hour.
He was charged with attempted sexual intercourse without consent, aggravatedassault, attempt to entice/detain a child for immoral purposes and indecentexposure.
He appeared in Darwin Magistrates Court yesterday, but was remanded incustody until Friday.
There was no application for bail.
Meanwhile, a 28-year-old man appeared in the Katherine Court yesterday inrelation to an alleged attempted sexual assault that occurred last month.
The man is believed to have tried to sexually assault a woman aged in herearly 20s between 10am and 2pm on October 15 at the Ngukurr community.
The victim managed to escape and informed others of the incident.
Foster child sent to home of known sex abuser
By Matthew Denholm
November 14, 2006 12:00
A TEENAGER was returned to a foster family even though care officials knewthe adolescent had been repeatedly sexually abused by a family member, ascathing report into Tasmanian foster care has found.
The case was one of seven of alleged abuse of children in foster or "out ofhome" care studied by Tasmania's outgoing Commissioner for Children.
In his report, released yesterday, David Fanning said the foster system hadfailed children and that abuse was likely to be occurring still. He recommendeda review, particularly of foster parent selection and placement monitoring, aswell as improvements to support for foster children and carers.
"There probably can be no greater failure of a system that seeks to protectchildren than actually (placing) a child in ... circumstances where they arefurther abused," he said.
The system had failed children. "And ... I can't guarantee they're notfailing children currently or won't fail them in the future," he said.
The failings were so serious that a further audit of the files was pointless.Instead, he called for immediate reform and increased funding. "In alllikelihood, any audit would reveal instances of abuse," he said.
In the worst case, Department of Health and Human Services workers returnedan adolescent to a family in which it was known the child had been abused. Theplacement was supported by DHHS "even though there were ongoing concerns notedonfile by several workers that the adolescent child was at risk ofsexual abuseby another family member, also residing in the same home".
"There were several notifications that the child was indeed being sexuallyabused by the family member over a long period of time," Dr Fanning's reportfound.
"The DHHS response to this abuse was to interview all parties, including thechild and the alleged perpetrator and to accept assurances, including thechild's, that sexual abuse was not occurring in the home.
"It was later disclosed by the parties that there had been an ongoing sexualrelationship between the child and the family member and therefore the child hadnot been protected in the placement."
Dr Fanning's report, carried out at the recommendation of an earlier damningombudsman's investigation into abuse of state wards, is the fifth released inrecent days pointing to a fundamental failure of child protection in Tasmania.
Health and Human Services Minister Lara Giddings conceded last week that thesystem had failed and announced the appointment of an interim replacement for MrFanning.
But that replacement, former welfare department head Dennis Daniels, withdrewon Friday after a victim of physical abuse made allegations relating to MrDaniels's time as a staff member in a boys home in the 1960s.
Friday, 10 November 2006. 10:07 (AEDT) Police investigate 'NSW Labor figure'over sex assault claims
Police say they are reopening the investigation due to recent events.
Police are investigating sexual assault claims against another man who isbelieved to have links to the NSW Labor Party.
It has been just two days since the NSW Aboriginal affairs minister MiltonOrkopoulos was sacked over multiple drug and child sex charges.
Now it appears another Labor Party figure may be under investigation forsimilar offences.
Last night Channel 7 reported that a Newcastle woman had told police herchildren had been sexually abused by a man with links to the Labor Party.
Police later said that a 62-year-old man from Caves Beach had been thesubject of a four-month-long child sex investigation, which was suspended inJuly because of a lack of evidence.
But they say they are now reopening the investigation in the light of recentevents.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the former mayor of Lake Macquarie knew ofallegations against Orkopoulos 10 years ago.
It is unclear whether the allegations were investigated by police.
John Kilpatrick was the independent mayor of Lake Macquarie in 1997.
In that year he says a man approached him with allegations of improperbehaviour towards his teenage son by councillor Milton Orkopoulos.
Mr Kilpatrick says he told the man to go to police.
"All I know is that they were matters where I thought there could be anelement of improper conduct and it was something that I thought should bepursued further to ascertain whether it was any truth," he said.
Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal was this morning asked if there were ever anyallegations made against Orkopoulos to the party's head office while MrRoozendaal was its secretary.
"There were never any allegations made about his conduct to me," he said.
The ABC is seeking to ask the same of John Della Bosca, who was partysecretary in 1997.
Orkopoulos has denied all charges against him.
Last Update: Sunday, November 12, 2006. 11:00am (AEDT)
Girl endures five rape trials
The New South Wales justice system is under scrutiny after an eight-year-oldalleged rape victim was forced to endure five criminal trials that all failed todeliver a verdict.
In 2004, the girl, who was six at the time, alleged her male babysittersexually assaulted her.
Since then, a series of hearings have fallen over for a number of reasons,including an error made by a judge.
State Attorney-General Bob Debus says the girl will not have to give evidencein a sixth trial due to new laws that have recently been passed inParliament.
He says he is considering referring the case to the Judicial Commission.
"This case has given me great concern and I am considering, depending on areport still to be received, whether I should refer the whole situation to theJudicial Commission," he said.
WA pedophile missing for 12 months
November 11, 2006 03:00pm
POLICE are hunting a convicted child-sex monster they have been unable tofind for more than a year.
Detectives from the child-protection squad issued an alert to find pedophileJohn Arthur Lee, 53 _ the first WA man convicted of child-sex tourism offences.
"We are looking for John Arthur Lee, but why we can't disclose,''Det-Sen-Constable Greg Boxshall said.
"We don't know where he is and weare interested in speaking with him.''
Det-Sen-Constable Boxshall refused tosay whether Lee was wanted for further offences.
Lee, formerly ofKarratha, was convicted of having sex with a girl under 16, committing indecentacts on girls, possessing child pornography and displaying child pornography. Hewas sentenced to 11 years' jail, with a non-parole period of six years, and wasreleased from jail in 2002.
The Parole Board refused to tell The SundayTimes whether Lee was on parole.
In 1999, the District Court found Leehad posed in photographs with 14 naked and semi-naked girls, some as young as11, in a Phnom Penh hotel room in 1997.
Lee smuggled the photos intoAustralia, placing them between tourist pictures in photo albums.
Butwhen he bragged about his exploits to a colleague, a police search of his homefound between 250 and 300 sexually explicitphotos.
Anti-child abusegroups feared children might have been at risk.
Advocates for Survivorsof Child Abuse spokeswoman Michelle Stubbs said yesterday there was graveconcern that police could not find Lee.
"I'm alarmed police can't findhim, even by way of utilising the other states to track him. They have set upthe (Australian National Child Offender) register for very clear reasons thatneed to be adhered to,'' she said.
Killer to walk free
November 11, 2006 12:00am
THE man convicted of one of Tasmania's most horrific murders is set to walkfree.
Frankie Lyle Curtis, 37, was granted parole yesterday after serving twothirds of a 30-year sentence.
He will be set free from prison in early January.
Curtis was 16 when he brutally bashed and stabbed Dean Allie through theheart.
The killer also raped Mr Allie's fiancee during a murderous rampage in1986.
The murder victim's sister, Carol Allie, said last night she was deeplyangered by the Parole Board's decision.
"He doesn't deserve to come out," Ms Allie said.
"In my opinion he should be there until he comes out in a box."
But Ms Allie said her family was no longer scared of Curtis and would nothide away.
"He took a lot away from us, but we will not let him do anything to usanymore," she said.
"We are not frightened by him -- we are looking to the future, not thepast."
Dean Allie's mother, Joyce Allie, said the decision brought back vividmemories of her 22-year-old son's death.
"It brings back everything that happened on that day," Mrs Allie said.
"It will take another few weeks for it all to subside again."
Curtis was originally given a life sentence in June 1986, after being foundguilty of murder, forcible abduction, aggravated burglary, four counts ofcausing grievous bodily harm, 10 counts of assault, two counts of indecentassault and three counts of rape.
But in 1996 he was re-sentenced to 30 years, under truth in sentencing laws.He was given a non-parole period of 18 years, making him eligible for parole in2004.
In yesterday's decision, the Parole Board said it had considered the "severesuffering" of the victims both at the time of the murder and today.
"They are still suffering and will continue to suffer into the future," theboard said.
Although Curtis became eligible for parole in 2004, the board notes thatCurtis withdrew his own parole application in order to complete the sex-offender treatment program.
The board noted Curtis entered the program of his own volition and attendedit for 19 months.
"He appears to be remorseful and acknowledges his own part in participatingin the offences," the board said.
"The likelihood of the prisoner re-offending was considered by thepsychiatrist, who states the opinion that this risk is very low."
On February 15, 1986, Curtis and his older brother Jamie John Curtis, alsoknown as David Watson, went on their murderous rampage.
They left a Sandy Bay hotel at 5.30am and decided to search for a woman torape.
They abducted at knifepoint a 15-year-old girl on her newspaper round andimprisoned her in the boot of their car.
She escaped from the boot unmolested before the brothers arrived back attheir Glenorchy flat.
The brothers then decided to rape the woman living next door.
They broke into her house while armed with a knife and tied up her fiance,Dean Allie. They dragged Mr Allie into the bathroom where they punched andkicked him.
The woman was repeatedly raped by the pair before being driven to Gretna withMr Allie.
The brothers dragged Mr Allie into the bush and Jamie Curtis stabbed him 12times.
Mr Allie was still alive when Frankie Curtis grabbed the knife and plunged itinto Mr Allie's heart before rolling him over and stabbing him in the back.
The woman managed to escape only after the men fell asleep in theircar.
Stench of scandal puts Labor on the nose
November 11, 2006
IN Britain, it tends to be upper-class Tory twits, discovered by The Sun infish-net stockings and a latex raincoat being whipped by a choirboy.
In the US, it's horny Democrats unable to contain their appetite for booze,cigars and political groupies.
In Australia, nobody does a sex scandal quite like Labor.
Two former Queensland Labor MPs, Keith Wright and Bill D'Arcy, have servedtime for child sex offences and former federal minister Bob Collins has beencharged with child pornography and child sex offences in the Northern Territoryand the ACT.
But in terms of potential political impact, the allegations made by policeagainst former NSW Aboriginal affairs minister Milton Orkopoulos this week dwarfthose matters.
One mistake commentators have made since NSW Premier Morris Iemma dropped thebombshell on Tuesday morning has been to think of the Orkopoulos scandal ascontinuing a series that includes the recent sacking of former police ministerCarl Scully for misleading parliament and the ticking off of Local GovernmentMinister Kerry Hickey for serial speeding.
The question has then been put in these terms: coming on top of thosematters, and the other sleazy baggage the Labor Government has accrued in its11-year life, will this week's events prove particularly bad for Iemma at thepolls next March?
But that is a bit like saying 9/11 was particularly bad for New York, comingon top of a garbos' strike and a heatwave.
Politically speaking, the allegations against Orkopoulos are of a differentorder from anything in NSW or Australian history. They are not part of anysequence or series. Their effect, on their own, is potentially catastrophic forthe Government.
Let's review. A serving minister of state is dragged from his bed, hauleddown to the local cop shop, and charged with, among other things, sexualinterfering with an underage boy, engaging in an act of child prostitution andsupply of a prohibited drug.
According to the police fact sheet tendered in Newcastle Local Court,Orkopoulos allegedly used his electorate allowance - taxpayer money - to pay aboy up to $250 a week in exchange for sex. They claim he smoked dope with a boyon the balcony of his parliamentary office.
As the spin doctors say: the optics are notgood.
No serving minister in any Australian jurisdiction has faced charges likethese.
And a further problem for Labor is that this will be a rolling, roilingscandal. While there will be no salacious court case between now and the March24 election - the wheels of justice in NSW move much too slowly for that - thefocus has already shifted to senior colleagues of Orkopoulos who, it appears,knew there were serious allegations against him but did not inform police.
Given the moral conservatism of the stretches of southwest Sydney where theelection will be lost or won, is there any way back for Iemma?
It is true that the Opposition is low on front-bench talent. But as the 1996federal election demonstrated, the electorate is willing to take a punt on alargely unknown and untried team, provided the leader is plausible and thegovernment is sufficiently on the nose.
If there is a strategy for the Government, it is to put as much distancebetween Iemma and the scandal as possible. As political lobbyist and John Howardconfidant Grahame Morris told The Australian on Tuesday, the likelihood of anelection campaign based on "Labor values" evaporated at 10.45 on Tuesdaymorning. The campaign will be all about Iemma.
And here, Labor is fortunate in one thing. If the phrase "family man" everapplied to anybody without being a cliche, it's Iemma.
He is probably the first state or federal leader in Australian history whohas tried to combine a political career with hands-on fatherhood. He isfrequently up in the night tending to one of his four-year-old twins, and looksafter all four children in the mornings.
Whatever you might say about Iemma politically, personally and morally he isas straight as a die. There is no doubt that what he heard on the phone from hischief of staff, Mike Kaiser, about 9pm on Tuesday evening would have shocked himto his core.
In an attempt to show it is "business as usual", the Government has continuedrolling out the good-news announcements since the Orkopoulos scandal broke,including, uncoincidentally, the announcement yesterday that 626 new railcarriages will be built at a cost of $3.6 billion in the Hunter Valley, whereOrkopoulos is an MP.
The trains will be made of stainless steel. Iemma's colleagues will bepraying he is of similar mettle.
Archbishop 'failed to act' on sex abuse
By Tony Koch
November 11, 2006 12:00am
THE Anglican Primate of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, has beenaccused of failing to act on evidence of child sexual abuse by the victim of apedophile priest who was jailed this week.
The Queensland man, who was sexually abused over three years as a teenager bythe priest, claimed Archbishop Aspinall did not tell police about anincriminating letter he was sent in 2002 -- just four months after he wasappointed head of the Brisbane diocese.
On Thursday, Robert Francis Sharwood, 62, was sentenced in the BrisbaneDistrict Court to two years and nine months' jail, suspended after he served ayear.
A jury found him guilty of sodomy, allowing sodomy and sexual assault of thevictim between 1974 and 1976.
The victim, now a 46-year-old university lecturer, was first abused as a13-year-old music student when Sharwood was working in Brisbane as a 30-year-oldcurate.
Evidence was given that Sharwood "groomed" and seduced the boy, picking himup at the bus-stop most school days and having oral and masturbatory sex withhim on 300 occasions.
The June 26, 2002 letter, which referred to an incident at a local parish forwhich Sharwood had apologised to the victim's parents, was sent to ArchbishopAspinall by priest Thomas Hood, who was protesting against Sharwood's sacking asthe chaplain at the prestigious Brisbane Anglican private boys school, Churchie,where he had worked since 1985.
In the letter, Canon Hood informed Archbishop Aspinall he had been visited bySharwood.
Hood wrote that Bishop Ralph Winks and Canon James Warner "investigated theincident that occurred when Robert (Sharwood) was at Sherwood parish whichresulted in a good deal of counselling for both Robert and (the victim). "I knew(the victim's) parents very well. They were members of the church and they laterforgave Robert.
"There obviously was confession, absolution and restoration. Later Icelebrated the wedding service of (the victim) and Robert celebrated the HolyCommunion. I am at loss to understand why the mistake which happened so long agoshould now be the subject of Robert's dismissal from Churchie as there were noother incidents at any time, to my knowledge."
Hood and the senior clerics did not report the crime to police.
Archbishop Aspinall - appointed Primate in September last year - yesterdayconceded he had not referred the 2002 letter to police, with the victim onlylearning of its existence 18 months later when he obtained it in the legaldiscovery process.
But he insisted he and the church had acted in accordance with policerequests.
"Police request us to deal with this information in a particular way. Theysay report the matter to them as soon as it comes to you and hold all theinformation you have in a file together, keep it secure and when we want theinformation we will come and get it. That is exactly what we did in thisinstance," he said.
But the victim, still a churchgoer, said Archbishop Aspinall should have toldhim about the letter. "Archbishop Aspinall did not disclose in all our meetingsthat he had that letter.
"It would have been reasonable for him to mention that he had a letter aboutthe abuse and that it said both my parents knew.
"My wife and I did not know that my parents knew.
"Had we known that in 2002, we could have succeeded in our civil actionagainst the church, because my mother was alive then and could have givenevidence."
Just four days before receiving Hood's letter, Archbishop Aspinall, in hispresidential address to the Synod of the Brisbane diocese, vowed to tackle childsex abuse in the church head on. "The only way we can move on is if we face thehurtful reality of what has happened, extend care and support to those harmedand take steps to ensure as far as possible that it never happens again," hesaid.
During the trial, Sharwood's lawyers accused the victim's wife, a prominentQueensland rural journalist, of inciting her husband to make a complaint againstSharwood as part of a concerted attack on the church and then Governor-GeneralPeter Hollingworth, who was forced to resign in May 2003 after less than twoyears in the vice-regal post.
The journalist was instrumental in exposing claims of abuse at an Anglicanschool in regional Queensland which led to criticisms Dr Hollingworth had failedto act with compassion when confronted with abuse claims.
The Brisbane diocese was ordered to pay a record $834,000 in damages to aformer pupil who had suffered abuse at the school in 1990.
Archbishop Aspinall, who replaced Dr Hollingworth as Archbishop of Brisbanein 2002, quickly moved to distance himself from his predecessor who was accusedof mishandling sex abuse claims during his 10 years as head of the diocese.
Archbishop Aspinall apologised to victims and conceded his church had notadequately dealt with complaints of abuse, introducing new protocols forreporting sex allegations to police.
Archbishop Aspinall also confirmed yesterday that in recent months the churchhad received complaints from two other men who also claimed they were abused bySharwood when they were boys.
Rapist locked up - 24 years' jail for 'sickening' crimes
A MAN who committed "sickening and revolting" sex crimes against his sistersand daughter will spend at least 17 years behind bars.
The 48-year-old man was sentenced to 24 years' jail with a non-parole periodof 17 years in the Bendigo County Court yesterday after facing 30 sex-relatedcharges including 15 counts of rape, 11 of indecent assault, buggery, incest andattempted rape.
The court heard that the father of two was the eldest of eight children whosefather was an itinerant farm worker during the 1970s and 1980s.
The man committed the offences against his five sisters - one when she wasonly five years old - on properties in the central and northern Victorianarea.
He pleaded not guilty to the crimes against his sisters, but was convicted bya jury on November 3.
He then pleaded guilty to charges of indecent assault and incest against histeenage daughter.
The court heard that in the early 1970s, the man, then aged 14, forced analsex upon his 12-year-old sister.
In 1974, the man raped his five year-old sister, and in the same year,threatened to kill another sister, aged 10, after sexually assaulting her insidea haystack cubby.
"You said there was a lagoon at the back of the property and that nobodywould find her body in that lagoon," Judge Geoff Chettle told the man.
In 1975, the defendant strangled and raped his 15-year-old sister, tellingher it was payback for a time when she fought him off another of the girls.
"You told her that you would kill her unless she gave (the other sister)...to you," the judge said.
The court heard that the children's father did not believe one of hisdaughters when she told him the brother had raped her.
"The evidence discloses your father to be a strong-minded and occasionallyvery violent man and all your sisters appeared to be fearful of him," the judgesaid.
The court was told that in a victim impact statement, one of the sisters saidher childhood had been destroyed.
"My brother took something so precious from me and he desecrated andvandalised it," the statement read.
In handing down his sentence, Judge Chettle described the man's crimes assickening and revolting.
"Your victims were your sisters and your daughter, all of whom you should beprotecting, not exploiting," the judge said.
"You systematically preyed upon your younger sisters and subjected them tohumiliating and brutal offences.
"The fact that you returned to sexual offending with your daughter at the ageof 44 and 46 demonstrates that you have not been able to rehabilitateyourself."
Source: Bendigo Advertiser
Teen porn accused to stand trial
SEAN FEWSTER, COURT REPORTER
November 10, 2006 02:30pm
A MAN has been ordered to stand trial over allegations he sexually assaultedand filmed teenage girls to make home pornography.
David Andrew Robinson, 42, of Adelaide, appeared in the Adelaide MagistratesCourt today. He pleaded not guilty to six counts of unlawful sexual intercourse,two counts of indecent assault and four counts of producing child pornography.
He also denied one count of procuring a child to commit an act of grossindecency, committing an act of gross indecency in the presence of a14-year-old, and two counts of possessing child pornography.
Documents filed with the court allege Robinson abused a 16-year-old girl, a14-year-old girl and two 15-year-old girls. It is alleged that, between December1, 2004 and June 30, 2005, Robinson twice had sex with the 16-year-old andfilmed the act once.
Between January 30, 2005 and May 12, 2006, Robinson allegedly indecentlyassaulted a 15-year-old girl twice, producing child pornography from bothincidents.
It is further alleged that, between February 8, 2005 and April 20, 2005,Robinson had sex with the 14-year-old three times and produced one piece ofpornography from it. Between February 8 and 10, 2005, Robinson allegedlyprocured an indecent act from a second 15-year-old girl, had sex with her once,and produced pornography from one of the incidents.
It is further alleged that, on June 6, 2005, Robinson committed an indecentact in the presence of a 14-year-old boy and that, on May 12 this year, he wastwice found to be in possession of child pornography.
Magistrate Bill Ackland remanded him in custody to face the District Courtnext month.
Priest forgiven, boy forgotten after sex abuse
November 10, 2006
THE Anglican Church ignored the needs of a teenage boy who was sexuallyabused by a priest for more than two years, a judge said yesterday beforesentencing the disgraced former cleric to a year in jail.
Robert Francis Sharwood, 62, was convicted in the Brisbane District Courtyesterday of 11 counts of sexually abusing the boy in the 1970s.
Judge Fleur Kingham said Sharwood was counselled and forgiven by the churchand allowed to remain a priest after his abuse was exposed.
"Unfortunately (the victim's) needs were not addressed by the church," JudgeKingham said. "He received no counselling."
A jury on Monday found Sharwood guilty of sodomy, permitting sodomy and twocharges of indecent assault.
Before his trial started last week, he pleaded guilty to seven charges ofsexually assaulting the boy.
Judge Kingham sentenced him to two years and nine months in jail, to besuspended after he serves 12 months.
Sharwood was a 30-year-old curate at an Anglican church at Jindalee inBrisbane's southwest when he lured the boy into a sexual relationship.
The victim, now a 42-year-old university lecturer, was 13 when the sexualabuse began.
Prosecutor Ron Swanwick said Sharwood and the boy had hundreds of sexualencounters between 1974 and 1976.
Both were music lovers and Sharwood used their common interest as a pretextto involve the boy in sexual behaviour.
The two sodomy offences took place on a single bed in the parish rectory.
The sexual assaults - involving kissing, fondling, masturbation and oral sex- took place inthe victim's bedroom, at thepriest's home, in the parish car andon a rug by a creek at rural Samford, northwest of Brisbane.
Judge Kingham told Sharwood he had "corrupted" the teenager.
"You took advantage of and abused the trust (the victim's) family placed inan office-holder of the church," she said.
The trial was told that Sharwood was forgiven by two senior clerics after thevictim's father intercepted a letter from the priest to the boy that showed theyhad been in a sexual relationship.
Judge Kingham said that after he was counselled by the clerics, Sharwoodembarked on a program to improve himself.
With the consent of the boy's father, he had also set out to develop a properrelationship with the boy.
Sharwood invited the victim to his wedding in 1977 and officiated asassistant priest at the victim's marriage in 1982.
Judge Kingham said there was no evidence Sharwood had abused any otherchildren.
Sharwood worked as a teacher and chaplain at the prestigious Anglican GrammarSchool in Brisbane - better known as Churchie - from 1985 to 2002.
He was sacked in 2002 after the victim informed the school of the sexualabuse he had suffered.
The abuse Sharwood inflicted on the boy in his teen years had a substantialemotional and psychological impact on the victim and his wife in later years.
Mr Swanwick said that by contesting four of the offences, Sharwood had forcedhis victim to be subjected to the ordeal of cross-examination on intimate andsometimes "disgusting" details of the abuse he had suffered.
Labor sex scandal kept under wraps for a year; Sacked minister: I aminnocent
Teen tells of cash and drugs
Andrew Clennell and Anne Davies with AAP. Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney,
N.S.W.:Nov 9, 2006. p. 1
THE Iemma Government was in crisis last night after the Premier sacked his
Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Milton Orkopoulos, over child sex charges, and
allegations emerged of a possible political cover-up six months ago.
Orkopoulos, 49, from Belmont in the Hunter Valley, has been granted bail of
$20,000 on 30 charges including aggravated indecent assault, engaging in anact
of child prostitution, supplying prohibited drugs and using drugs to procure
In a statement last night he said he had resigned as the "endorsed Labor
candidate for Swansea". "I am innocent of all charges and will vigorously
defend my reputation. My family and I have been traumatised by today's events
and I request the public and the media to respect my right to the presumption
The MP was arrested yesterday morning. Police searched his offices at
Parliament House and in the Hunter and he later appeared in Newcastle Local
Among the allegations was that the minister used government funds to pay a
young man $250 a week for sex and regularly supplied him with cannabis. The
relationship began in 1997 when the boy was 15.
The court documents also said Orkopoulos occasionally supplied amphetaminesto
the alleged victim, whose drug addiction meant he was unable to hold down ajob
or support himself financially.
Police allege the victim complained in October 2005 to Jillian Snedden, an
electorate officer in Orkopoulos's Swansea office. Ms Snedden had recordedthe
complaint and tried to contact Orkopoulos, who did not respond.
When she went on sick leave, another party member offered to approach
Orkopoulos in the NSW Parliament to pursue the issue.
Orkopoulos later told the electoral officer he had informed police and the
Independent Commission Against Corruption, but the police said there was no
official record of a complaint.
According to the police facts, a second victim was 16 when he met Orkopoulosin
late 2003. About two months later, he accompanied Orkopoulos to the ALP
national conference in Sydney and they shared a hotel room for two nights.
The teenager alleged the pair smoked marijuana on the balcony of Orkopoulos's
Parliament House office. He also told police that during the second night of
their stay, Orkopoulos allegedly told him about having sex with other men.The
facts state Orkopoulos told the boy: "I'd love to have you." When the boy
flinched, he added: "You're not ready son, are you?", before leaving theroom.
The teen reported this to the Independent Commission Against Corruption last
August and the matter was referred to police.
Last night questions were raised about the independence of the police afterit
emerged that the commissioner, Ken Moroney, had followed "normal procedures"in
alerting a senior police bureaucrat on Monday afternoon that Orkopoulos was
about to be charged. The bureaucrat had then told the Police Minister, John
Watkins, who told the Premier's chief of staff, Mike Kaiser.
Mr Iemma said yesterday he did not find out about the possible charges until
Orkopoulos's demise follows the sacking a fortnight ago of the former police
minister, Carl Scully, for misleading Parliament and came after the Premier
came under pressure to sack the Local Government Minister, Kerry Hickey, this
week over three speeding offences in his ministerial car.
Mr Iemma moved swiftly to deal with the latest crisis by sacking Orkopoulosand
ending his membership of the ALP. It is now up to Orkopoulos to resign from
"Let me say right now that there is no worse crime than child sexualassault,"
Mr Iemma said. He said he wanted Orkopoulos to go but would not hold a by-
election so close to the state election in March. He will also avoid a
reshuffle by adding Aboriginal Affairs to Reba Meagher's Community Services
Asked if the Government was falling apart, a defiant Mr Iemma said:"Absolutely
not, absolutely not."
The Opposition Leader, Peter Debnam, said the Government was imploding and
stumbling from crisis to crisis. Labor was "not in a position to address the
real issues facing the people of NSW, such as the NSW economy spiralling into
Mr Moroney's office said "normal procedures" had been followed and aspokesman
for Mr Iemma said Mr Moroney had passed on information through the police
ministry. The spokesman said the former Liberal premier, Nick Greiner, hadset
up the ministry to allow for such information to be passed on.
Questions about the Government being tipped off about Orkopoulos's arrest
follow the row earlier this year when the Liberal candidate and deputydirector
of public prosecutions, Greg Smith, was attacked for informing another deputy
DPP, Patrick Power, that child pornography had been found on his computer.
Elected to protect the young ... now this
JOE HILDEBRAND. The Daily Telegraph. Surry Hills, N.S.W.:Nov 9, 2006. p. 27
FOR most of us it is disturbing and difficult to believe that anyone could
commit child sex abuse, let alone an elected representative of the people.
But that is what we are confronted with if the allegations against disgraced
former Aboriginal Affairs Minister Milton Orkopoulos are shown to be correct.
What is even more disturbing -- if the allegations are proven -- is that
Orkopoulos presented himself as a crusader against child sex abuse.
As early as his maiden speech in 1999 he spoke of his concern about drug use
among young people.
This takes on a fresh meaning given he has now been charged with supplying at
least one underage kid with amphetamines and cannabis in exchange for sex.
"No single issue divides our communities like the drug issue," he told
"The Premier was right to identify the increasing incidence of drug abuse among
our young people as too important for politicians to use as political fodder
during election campaigns."
A year later he made comments that take on an eerie hue in light of the
allegations now against him.
In supporting the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Bill, Orkopoulos
showed he knew the horror of the acts he is alleged to have committed.
"My strongly held view is that there are no greater crimes than those committed
against children," he said.
"Since my election to this Parliament I have been involved in a number of cases
that have shocked and horrified me.
"In each case the innocence of children was taken away and invariably those
children have been scarred for life."
The Bill he spoke in support of made it a requirement that the details of child
sex offenders are released to police upon their release so they can be
monitored by police.
It is a dark irony -- and perhaps some small poetic justice -- that, if
convicted, Orkopoulos will be subjected to his own hypocrisy.
Ironically, he also spoke out against full public disclosure of the identity of
child sex offenders. Guilty or not, this is a fate he has already suffered.
The most disturbing aspect of Orkopoulos's alleged double life is that, as
Aboriginal Affairs Minister, he was charged with preventing child sex abuse in
The thought that a person responsible for this might himself be a child sex
offender is chilling.
He said, as minister in May this year: "I will go anywhere to ensure that
children are not subject to sexual assault or vulnerable to violence."
According to the police case he had, in fact, done precisely the opposite for
almost a decade.
Child sex abuse is a heinous crime in itself. Coupled with such gruesome
duplicity it would be, if proven, the darkest outrage that can befall a