UPDATE:  MAY 2016

Larkins has been released after winning his appeal against a 12 month jail term for failing to comply with reporting obligations of the child protection register & for breaching a good behaviour bond.

 

UPDATE:  DECEMBER 2015

Larkins has been sent back to jail for failing to tell authorities he was using two social media applications and for breaching a good behaviour bond. He was sentenced to 12 months jail with a non-parole period of nine months in Raymond Terrace Local Court.

 

UPDATE:  NOVEMBER 2015

Larkins has been charged with breaching the child protection register. Police allegedly found Instagram & Wechat accounts after a search of his home computer in July. He remains on bail & will return to court later this month.

 

UPDATE:   29/04/2014

Today Steven Larkins walked free from Long Bay Jail after serving just 15 months.

 

UPDATE:   APRIL 2014

Due to be released from prison in late April 2014.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1270515/larkins-jailed-for-child-porn-and-fraud/?cs=12

Larkins jailed for child porn and fraud

By STEPHEN RYAN

Jan. 31, 2013, 1:02 p.m.

THE FORMER chief executive of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services has been jailed for child pornography and fraud offences.

Steven Larkins was sentenced to 22 months’ jail by a local court magistrate last year but he appealed that sentence.

A district court judge confirmed the 22-month sentence but reduced the non-parole period from 19 months to 15 months.

Judge Peter Berman said the child pornography offences involving boys aged 10 to 14 created a market for such pornography and that other children would be harmed to feed that demand.

Larkins began serving his sentence Thursday, which means he will be eligible for parole in April next year.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/scouts-ignored-complaints-about-paedophile-20121016-27p4z.html

Scouts ignored complaints about paedophile

October 17, 2012

Rory Callinan

THE Scout movement is facing serious questions over its handling of child abuse allegations after former Scout leaders in the Hunter alleged officials in the movement turned a blind eye to the activities of a paedophile who went on to work with vulnerable children in an Aboriginal foster care agency.

Steven ”Skip” Larkins, the former chief executive of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services agency, was convicted this year of fraud, possessing child pornography and abusing two boy Scouts in the 1990s.

He was exposed as a paedophile only after being caught last year with child pornography at the Newcastle-based agency where he had been given parental responsibility for 19 vulnerable Aboriginal children, oversaw $5 million in taxpayer funding and acted as an adviser to the NSW government on child protection issues.

The pornography investigation uncovered Scout abuse complaints from the 1990s to which Larkins this year pleaded guilty. But a Herald investigation has found in the early to mid-1990s scouting authorities were alerted to Larkins’s suspected paedophile behaviour.

Despite the reports, the scouting officials took years to ”officially suspend him”, and in the interim allowed him to attend scouting events involving children and undertake administrative duties.

Larkins went on to become a figure in NSW Aboriginal child protection work, where he had parental responsibility for vulnerable children.

In the US, the Boy Scouts of America are in damage control after the Los Angeles Times revealed a pattern of inaction and cover-up involving thousands of complaints of child abuse from the 1970s to the 1990s.

The Larkins case raises questions about whether there was a similar lack of action in Australia. This week, former Stockton Scout leaders Raylene and Armand Hoitink told how they tried to blow the whistle on Larkins in the mid-1990s but were fobbed off by then senior officials.

The couple said they and a close relative had raised a number of allegations with senior scouting officials including that Larkins was:

Caught cavorting naked in the shower with boys at a Scout camp;

Had a Scout lie on his chest while he and the boy were alone in a tent put up in a scout hall;

Approached children at a swimming pool offering them lollies and trying to coerce them back to his house.

”He’s the reason we are no longer in Scouts,” Mr Hoitink said last week. Mrs Hoitink said her late brother Toby, who was a Scout leader, had complained after finding a boy Scout lying on Larkins’s chest in the mid-1990s.

She said Toby had reported this to the Regional Commissioner, John Grothen, and the District Commissioner, Bill Metcalf, who did not stop Larkins from having access to Scouts. Grothen has since passed away. Mr Metcalf has vigorously rejected any claims he did not act, saying he repeatedly tried to get Larkins kicked out of the scouts.

Mrs Hoitink said she believed another leader knew of the shower incident and had been told of the tent incident.

Mr Hoitink said that in 1997 he rang police after being tipped off about the pool incident. But he said he was admonished by Metcalf for not contacting Scouts first and letting them handle it.

Mr Hoitink said after this incident, Scouts promised to remove Larkins from any contact with children. But, he said, in late 1997 or early 1998 he and his wife saw Larkins with a group of Scouts on a trip to Seaworld – something that Scouts justified because Larkins had ”been promised a trip”.

In 1998, police investigated an allegation Larkins abused a boy Scout but the case was dropped after the victim declined to go to court, sources told the Herald. Larkins this year pleaded guilty to this offence.

Scouts Australia NSW has refused to go into detail about such sexual abuse allegations but did confirm it was aware of a ”concern” raised with Scouts in 1998.

A Scouts spokeswoman said the organisation contacted NSW Police about the matter and continued to liaise with police through the years up to the recent court case. However, Scouts have confirmed they officially suspended Larkins only in 2000 after another complainant came forward alleging abuse – an incident that was not prosecuted at the time but which Larkins was convicted of.

A Scouts Australia NSW spokeswoman said last week Larkins had been ”removed” from ”face-to-face with youth members” from April 1997 following a complaint.

But she confirmed Larkins had continued to do administration tasks for the region and ”may have attended supervised regional events” up until his suspension in 2000.

She said Larkins had not been active in Scouts for more than a decade. Scouts takes responsibility for the safety and care of young people extremely seriously, she said.

NSW Police would encourage anyone with information about child sex offenders to contact police.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-04/police-say-no-evidence-of-foster-care-paedophile-ring/4295416

Police say no evidence of foster care paedophile ring

Posted Thu Oct 4, 2012 12:25pm AEST

Police say there is no evidence of a paedophile ring within part of the Hunter Valley’s foster care sector, after ruling out a criminal link between two convicted paedophiles.

The ABC first raised the possibility of a link between Steven Andrew Larkins and the now deceased paedophile Robert Holland more than a year ago.

Larkins is the former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS) while Holland, who died in 2009, was a foster carer who had children referred to him by HACS.

Larkins is currently appealing a 19 month jail sentence for child pornography and indecent assault offences.

Before Holland died he was found guilty of abusing eight children dating back 40 years.

Charges relating to another 11 children were taken into account when he was convicted.

Police say it is unclear how Holland had possession of a HACS uniform during his foster caring days.

The ABC has been told Larkins knew Holland, but disliked him.

Police investigated and say they could not substantiate any criminal links between the pair.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/national/bungle-allowed-paedophile-to-take-care-of-children-20120928-26qoa.html

Bungle allowed paedophile to take care of children

September 29, 2012

Rory Callinan, Louise Hall

A PAEDOPHILE was given parental responsibility for 19 vulnerable Aboriginal children and his organisation handed $5 million in taxpayer funding by the same government department which had classified him as a risk to juveniles years earlier.

The chief executive of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, Steven Andrew Larkins, was convicted last month of child sexual assault and fraud charges after he was caught with child pornography.

But the Department of Family and Community Services had known that Larkins was a risk to children as he was suspected of sexually abusing a boy in the 1990s when he was a scout leader.

Larkins applied for a ”working with children check” with the department’s screening unit in 2003. The allegations meant Larkins was deemed to be ”medium risk” and was not cleared to work unsupervised with children.

Yet he was still able to obtain the powerful position of parental responsibility for 19 children whose care had been given to HACS by the department over nine years.

Parental responsibility gave Larkins complete control over the children, including allowing him to take them into his home alone.

Larkins was also able to play a prominent role in child protection, including presiding over HACS being given a $5 million boost in taxpayer funding in 2007 to expand the number of children it had care of.

This week the department admitted it failed to follow standard procedure and tell the board or any other managers at the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS) of its findings.

Instead, Larkins alone was informed of his classification, which allowed him to forge a document showing he had obtained clearance to work with unsupervised with children, and which was placed in his personnel file.

A spokeswoman for the department said: ”Standard procedure was to send correspondence on the working with children check to the employer and, where the chief executive officer was the applicant, to the board. This was not done in this case. Community Services acknowledges and regrets this error.”

The department also admitted the practice of awarding parental responsibility to an executive of a non-government organisations ”was not usual practice” and was banned following the Wood special commission of inquiry into the child protection system in 2009.

The new chief executive of HACS, Terry Chenery, said Larkins had had access to the children alone and outside of work as a result of being awarded parental responsibility.

Mr Chenery said there had been no ”substantiated evidence” to say that Larkins had inappropriately dealt with children under HACS care.

Larkins was exposed last year by a chance incident when a fellow employee found a USB stick containing dozens of child abuse images belonging to Larkins in one of the organisation’s cars.

A police search of his home found cartoons depicting child pornography on his mobile phone, tablet and computer.

An investigation was launched, and Larkins was charged with the aggravated indecent assault of an 11-year-old boy in 1992 and a 12-year-old boy in 1997.

Last month Larkins, 46, was convicted and sentenced to at least nine months in jail for four counts of possessing child abuse material. He was given a further 12-month minimum sentence for forging the working with children documents to obtain his $86,000-a-year position and for lying in a statutory declaration, amounting to a total non-parole period of 19 months. The sentence has been stayed pending an appeal, although Larkins is not contesting the three-year good behaviour bond handed down for the assaults on the two boys. The appeal will be mentioned in the Newcastle District Court on November 15.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-02/child-protection-checks-strengthened-in-wake-of-larkins-convict/4171324

Child protection checks strengthened in wake of Larkins conviction

Posted August 02, 2012 08:09:18

The New South Wales Government has talked up new child protection protocols in the wake of a Newcastle childrens’ advocate being jailed for child sex and pornography offences.

46-year-old Steven Andrew Larkins will spend at least 19 months in jail for indecently assaulting two boys and collecting scores of pornographic images.

The former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services advised State and Federal Governments on child protection issues.

The Department of Community Services or DoCS knew about a complaint made against him in 1997.

In the years that followed, Larkins falsified Working With Children checks so he could keep his job.

The Minister for Community Services Pru Goward has told the ABC she has been closely monitoring the case.

In a statement she says work is being done to strengthen Working With Children checks and a new system that is simpler and safer is expected to start later this year.

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello says he is also pleased the Larkins matter has been finalised.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-31/child-sex-jail/4167044/?site=indigenous&topic=latest

Child protection advocate jailed for abusing children

Updated July 31, 2012 15:48:48

A Newcastle man who advised Governments on child protection has today been jailed for a range of child sex offences.

The former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services Steven Andrew Larkins, pleaded guilty to nine offences including producing and possessing child pornography fraud and the aggravated indecent assault of two boys aged 11 and 12.

The 46 year old has worked in advisory roles on child protection issues for both the NSW and Federal Governments.

Larkins was so revered in New South Wales he was on expert panel for the Government’s ‘Keep them Safe’ reforms, but Newcastle Local Court heard the former Scout leader was secretly attracted to young boys.

The court heard the Department of Community Services was aware of a complaint by one of his victims in 1997.

Larkins has since admitted to falsifying working with children checks to keep his job.

Today he showed little emotion while being sentenced to a minimum 19 months jail.

Magistrate Ian Cheetham acknowledged he had shown some remorse but doubled that he was no longer attracted to young boys.

Larkins will be eligible for parole in February 2014.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-19/magistrate-adjourns-sentencing-childrens27-advocate/4141516/?site=newcastle

Magistrate adjourns sentencing children’s advocate

Updated July 19, 2012 14:29:06

A Newcastle magistrate says he wants to see pornographic images of children belonging to a prominent children’s advocate before sentencing him for a range of offences.

The former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Childrens Services Steven Andrew Larkins has pleaded guilty to nine offences.

They include producing and possessing child pornography, fraud and the aggravated indecent assault of two boys.

The 46-year-old has worked in advisory roles on child protection issues for the New South Wales and Federal Governments.

Today he sat calmly in Newcastle Local Court as written sentencing submissions were handed to Magistrate Ian Cheetham.

The court heard Larkins had a significant position of authority and used fraudulent documents that allowed him to continue to have access to vulnerable children.

Magistrate Cheetham told the court he wants to view a sample of the pornographic material depicting children before sentencing Larkins on July 31.

 

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/steven-larkins-admits-to-possessing-child-pornography/2538926.aspx

Steven Larkins admits to possessing child pornography

DAN PROUDMAN

30 Apr, 2012 12:01 PM

THE former head of an Aboriginal children’s services organisation has admitted to possessing child pornography.

Steven Andrew Larkins, 45, of Dunbar Street, Stockton, has also pleaded guilty this morning to forging a document to show he had passed a ‘‘working with children check’’ despite being deemed a ‘‘medium risk’’ by authorities in 2003.

Larkins faced Newcastle Local Court this morning and pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing child pornography relating to 30 videos and 27 images found on his iPhone, iPad, home computer and a thumb drive.

Prosecutors withdrew three further child pornography charges.

Larkins was the chief executive officer of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services last year when another employee discovered a thumb drive with images on it and reported it to police.

A subsequent investigation discovered further images.

Larkins also today admitted to forging the ‘‘working with children check’’ and placing it in his personal file despite knowing that he had been classed as a ‘‘medium risk’’ by authorities.

He also pleaded guilty to using that forgery to obtain financial advantage, being the $86,000 job looking after the service which places troubled Aboriginal children into care.

Larkins has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated indecent assault, relating to two alleged incidents involving young boys in 1993 and 1997.

A hearing has been set down for June 4.

He has not been required to enter a plea into eight fraud-related charges.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-08/aboriginal-child-protection-advocate-pleads-not-guilty-to-child/3818222/?site=sydney

Aboriginal advocate pleads not guilty to child sex

Updated February 08, 2012 14:00:23

One of Australia’s leading Aboriginal child protection advocates has pleaded not guilty to child sex offences allegedly committed in the Hunter Valley.

Stockton man Steven Andrew Larkins, 45, is the former chief executive of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services.

He has also worked in advisory roles on child protection issues for the State and Federal Governments.

Larkins was stood down as CEO of the Hunter organisation last year, after being charged with 20 offences.

They include aggravated indecent assault, possessing child pornography and forgery.

Larkins faced Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday and entered not guilty pleas to two counts of aggravated indecent assault against children under the age of 16.

The court was told discussions are continuing in relation to the remaining charges and there could be further progress ahead of a four-day hearing scheduled for June.

The court heard the prosecution could potentially call 12 witnesses to give evidence at that hearing.

The matter will be mentioned again in March.

Larkins remains free on bail, but with strict conditions.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-09/more-charges-against-aboriginal-worker/3655648/?site=newcastle

Former aboriginal child worker faces more charges

Updated November 09, 2011 18:04:09

An additional child sex charge has been laid against the former CEO of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s services.

45 year old Stockton man Steven Andrew Larkins has appeared in Newcastle local court on charges including child sex, possessing child pornography and forgery.

Larkins was already facing a charge of aggravated indecent assault against an 11 year old boy and today the same charge was laid in relation to another alleged victim aged under 16 for an offence committed in 1992.

Another fraud charge was also laid in relation to his former employment.

Larkins is now facing a total of total of 20 charges and the court was told today the investigation may result in further charges in coming weeks involving other alleged victims.

Larkins was allowed continuing bail and his care returns to court on December the 7th.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-02/aboriginal-worker-sex-charges-docs/2867696/?site=newcastle

Sex charges against child worker raises the ire of DOCS

Updated September 02, 2011 07:20:23

The Department of Community Services says it is deeply concerned about child pornography and sex charges laid against an Aboriginal children’s advocate its had dealings with in Newcastle.

Former Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services Chief Executive Officer Steven Andrew Larkins is on strict bail, after being charged with 18 offences, including producing child pornography, forgery and the alleged aggravated indecent assault of an 11 year old boy.

Police documents tendered in court, as part of his bail application on Wednesday (AEST) say he was deemed medium risk by the Department of Community Services in 2003.

The documents also say he did not have clearance to work unsupervised with children, but did not disclose the restrictions.

Larkins has served in roles advising the State Government on child protection issues.

The Department says it is deeply concerned about the case and takes the charges laid against Larkins very seriously.

It says it is fully cooperating with the police.

The Minister, Pru Goward says she is intently focussed on the case and is keenly awaiting the results of investigations.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-01/aboriginal-worker-more-charges/2865100/?site=newcastle

Allegations child advocate continued working despite ban

Updated September 01, 2011 07:18:46

In documents tendered to court as part of a bail application, police allege a Hunter Aboriginal children’s’ advocate hid a risk assessment that deemed him unfit to work with children without supervision.

Former Hunter Aboriginal children’s Services Chief Executive Officer Steven Andrew Larkins is charged with 18 offences, including producing child pornography, forgery and the alleged aggravated indecent assault of a child under 16 in 1997.

In documents tendered to Newcastle Local Court police claim Larkins was charged with the indecent assault in 1998, but the matter never proceeded to trial.

It is alleged through the court documents that the Department of Community Services revoked Larkins clearance to work unsupervised with children in 2003, but police claim Larkins didn’t disclose the restrictions.

It is also alleged Larkins forged a Department of Community Services risk assessment document to say that he could work with children unsupervised.

He is on strict conditional bail and is due back in court next month.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/former-aboriginal-services-chief-deemed-risk-to-children-in-2003/2277174.aspx

Former Aboriginal services chief deemed ‘risk’ to children in 2003

BY STEPHEN RYAN

01 Sep, 2011 04:00 AM

THE former chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services was deemed a “medium risk” to children in 2003, but continued to work with minors and deceive a number of organisations by forging documents, Newcastle Local Court heard yesterday.

Steven Andrew Larkins, 45, was accused of molesting an 11-year-old boy while he was a scout master with the 2nd Newcastle Scout Group in 1997, a police statement said.

Mr Larkins denied the allegations, but he was served with an apprehended violence order and told that he would receive a summons for a charge of aggravated indecent assault. The case never proceeded to trial.

When mandatory child protection checks came into effect in 2001, Mr Larkins submitted his application with the Department of Community Services’ screening unit in 2003, the statement said.

A background check on Mr Larkins received a “hit” and he was told he was a “medium risk” and was not cleared to work unsupervised with children.

Mr Larkins never disclosed this to the board or other managers at Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, but he made two attempts to have his classification reviewed, the statement said.

In those applications he allegedly made fraudulent claims such as “That on no occasion have I been approached by the NSW Police to be charged or to appear in court on any charge of any kind” and “I am not the person with this record”.

He is also accused of creating a document that stated he had clearance to work with children and placed it with his personnel file, the statement said.

Mr Larkins also prepared two statutory declarations that stated he had never appeared “in court in relation to any charge made on me” and another stating that he had no contact with children in his role as chief executive officer.

Police alleged that both claims were false.

Mr Larkins was arrested yesterday and charged with 17 offences in addition to charges of possessing child pornography that he has been on bail for since April.

Police have subsequently found 64 child pornography images on computers and other devices that were seized from Mr Larkins’ Mayfield home, a police statement said.

Mr Larkins did not enter pleas yesterday. Magistrate Mark Buscombe granted him strict bail and adjourned the case for two weeks.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-31/aboriginal-childrens27-services-advocate-steve-larkins-charged/2864496/?site=newcastle

Aboriginal Children’s advocate granted strict bail

Updated August 31, 2011 17:31:14

A high profile Aboriginal children’s advocate has been granted strict conditional bail in Newcastle, after being charged with child pornography, child sex and fraud offences.

Police re-arrested former Hunter Aboriginal Childrens’ Services CEO Steve Larkins this morning, charging him with 17 offences.

The 45 year old was already facing one count of producing and disseminating child pornography.

In granting him bail Newcastle Local Court Magistrate Mark Buscombe said Larkins must report to police daily and must not contact his former work colleagues or anyone under 18.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/former-aboriginal-services-leader-back-in-court-on-child-pornography-and-sex-charges/2276758.aspx

Former Aboriginal services leader back in court on child pornography and sex charges

DAN PROUDMAN

31 Aug, 2011 01:57 PM

A FORMER leader in Aboriginal childrens’ services is due back in court today on fresh charges relating to child pornography and one child sex assault count.

Steve Larkins, 45, who was the chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS) before being charged with possessing child pornography in April, was arrested by Newcastle detectives this morning.

He has been charged with six counts of possessing or disseminating child pornography, five counts of intentionally making misleading statements, two counts of intentionally making a false statutory declaration and one count each of aggravated indecent assault of a child aged under 16, dishonestly obtaining a benefit by deception and making a false document.

He is due to face Newcastle Local Court this afternoon.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/03/3205906.htm?site=newcastle

DoCS suspends referrals after child porn charges

Posted May 3, 2011 06:43:00

The Department of Community Services has suspended referrals to the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Service, after its CEO was charged child porn offences.

44-year-old Steve Andrew Larkins has been stood down as the CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, after police seized scores of child pornography images.

The Department of Community Services says currently it is not making any new referrals to the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s service.

It has also stressed it is not involved in recruiting employees for the service.

Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services has been applauded for its work over two decades and seen as a leader in the sector.

But DoCS will not comment on revelations the service had referred children to Toronto foster carer Robert Holland, who in 2009 was found guilty of abusing eight children, dating back 40 years.

There is no suggestion Larkins had any involvement in those referrals.

Larkins has also been removed from the advisory pool of the State Government’s Child Protection Advisory Group.

Larkins served on an expert panel for the State Government’s ‘Keep them Safe’ initiative, stemming from a Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in 2007.

He has also been replaced as Chair of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/child-porn-found-on-lost-hard-drive/2146427.aspx

Child porn ‘found on lost hard drive’

BY STEPHEN RYAN

28 Apr, 2011 12:00 AM

A WITNESS who found a portable hard drive in a Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services vehicle discovered the child pornography that led to the organisation’s chief executive officer being charged last week, court documents revealed.

Steven Andrew Larkins’s bail conditions were altered in Newcastle Local Court yesterday after the Department of Community Services (DOCS) told police that Mr Larkins may still have contact with children.

Mr Larkins, 44, formerly of Mayfield now of Stockton, did not enter a plea to possessing child pornography.

He was granted strict bail last week, but that bail was altered yesterday to ensure that he has no unsupervised contact with any children including those who may have been under Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services care.

A document tendered to the court stated that police and DOCS “hold deep concerns that Mr Larkins may still have contact with these children”.

Mr Larkins told a witness that he’d misplaced a portable hard drive and was looking for it about a week before the witness found a device in one of the organisation’s vehicles, a police statement said.

When the employee inserted the drive into a computer to identify its owner, they allegedly found Mr Larkins’s resume and other files as well as videos and images with names such as “2 15 old boys have sex all night”.

The witness alerted a manager and then police.

Fifty-one video files were found on the hard drive with police rating the material at seven out of 10 on a scale used to classify child pornography.

A rating of 10 is in the worst category.

The case was adjourned to June.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/tougher-bail-conditions-for-steven-larkins/2145781.aspx

Tougher bail conditions for Steven Larkins

27 Apr, 2011 11:50 AM

The chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services has had his bail conditions altered this morning to further restrict his contact with minors.

Steven Andrew Larkins, 44, was charged last week with possessing child pornography.

He was granted bail, but those conditions were altered in Newcastle Local Court this morning to ensure that he has no unsupervised contact with any children.

Mr Larkins did not enter a plea and his case was adjourned.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/child-welfare-chief-charged-over-porn-images/2140666.aspx

Child welfare chief charged over porn images

BY DAN PROUDMAN CHIEF POLICE REPORTER

21 Apr, 2011 04:00 AM

A nationally recognised leader in indigenous children’s services, who has been responsible for placing hundreds of troubled youngsters in care across the Hunter, has been stood down after being charged with possessing child pornography.

Steve Larkins, the chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS), was arrested at the organisation’s Tighes Hill headquarters on Tuesday afternoon after it was raided by police.

It is alleged police found images and videos on a computer drive of children performing sex acts, and the 44-year-old was subsequently charged with one count of producing, disseminating or possessing child abuse material.

Newcastle City detectives also seized “additional computer-related devices” from Larkins’s Mayfield home and sent them away for testing by specialist police in Sydney.

They will wait for results on full forensic examinations of computer drives before deciding if other charges will be laid.

A Department of Family and Community Services spokeswoman said the charges were “a shock to the department and we take them very seriously”.

HACS is a non-government service that the department finances, and the department had been “informed by the services’ board that the employee has been stood down pending the police investigation”, the spokeswoman said.

The department had also “informed the relevant oversight agencies, including the Commission for Children and Young People, the NSW Ombudsman and the Children’s Guardian, who accredit Out of Home Care organisations”.

“We want to emphasise that the allegations involve one individual in the organisation and the board of management are taking appropriate action in relation to the staff member,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

“Late today the Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward, sought (through the department) further police action on this matter.”

HACS provides foster care and support for indigenous families, out-of-home care to Aboriginal children, and recruitment training and support to Aboriginal foster carers.

A NSW government press release, issued when the new HACS offices were opened last November by then Community Services Minister Linda Burney and Minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay, quoted Larkins as saying HACS was the oldest Aboriginal children’s service in the state and had been operating for 25 years.

It had 21 staff and had 53 children in its care.

Larkins has been chairman of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, a teacher and social worker and has also been chairman of the Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management.

He was taken into custody at his workplace and transported to Newcastle police station on Tuesday before being charged with the single count.

He was placed on strict conditional bail to appear in Newcastle Local Court on May 10.

 

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Comments
  1. Cheryl terry. says:

    How sickening. The law seems to be protecting these creeps,who protects the children?

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