Michael John Belcher

Posted: October 17, 2012 by Serendipity in Location, Photo, Queensland
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http://www.dailymercury.com.au/?storyid=3674052&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection=

Ex-fire chief jailed for molesting girl

February 25, 2006

FORMER Mackay fire chief Mike Belcher has been jailed for three years for molesting a child.

Mr Belcher worked for 15 years for the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service in Mackay, including several years as officer in charge of the district.

He left the service in 1997 and he and his wife operated a business in Mackay for a short time before it went bankrupt.

The couple then moved to Townsville where Mr Belcher was working as a school bus driver before his arrest in 2003.

During his service in Mackay, he purchased an old fire engine and restored it and drove it in major parades.

Michael John Belcher, 52, pleaded guilty in the Townsville District Court to seven charges of indecently dealing with a young girl in the late 70s and early 80s.

Although he pleaded guilty, Mr Belcher disputed several of the circumstances surrounding the offending, which took place in Brisbane at Sunnybank and Browns Plains, starting in 1977 when his victim was four-and-a-half years old.

His offending ended only when he was caught in the act by his wife and he subsequently sought psychiatric help.

After hearing evidence from the victim and from Mr Belcher and his wife, Judge Bob Pack said he believed the victim’s testimony.

He said he believed that in her evidence supporting her husband’s less serious version of some events, Mrs Belcher had ”gilded the lily somewhat”.

Judge Pack also noted that Mr Belcher had not revealed the full extent of what he had done to the psychiatrist who treated him in the early ’80s.

Judge Pack was required to sentence using the lesser penalties in force at the time of offending, so Mr Belcher was sentenced to three years, to be released after serving six months.

 

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