Keith Richard Draper

Posted: October 28, 2012 by Serendipity in Photo, Victoria

Sentencing review after paedophile walks free

August 13 2002

The Victorian government has moved to examine the Sentencing Act following an outcry over a serial sex offender who walked free from court after his fifth conviction in the past three years.

Keith Richard Draper, 67, was yesterday fined $200 and released on a good behaviour bond by magistrate Paresa Spanos at Heidelberg Magistrates Court after he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting his niece when she was aged 11.

Because the offence occurred 35 years ago, the court was not told that Draper had previously pleaded guilty to four other sex offences in court appearances between November 1999 and May 2001.

For the purposes of sentencing, Draper was therefore treated as a first-time offender. His victims and parents of his victims have called for the law to be changed to allow all of a defendant’s convictions to be taken into account, not just those pre-dating the crime before the court.

Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls today would not comment on any individual cases, but confirmed he was seeking legal advice on whether the current Sentencing Act was adequate.

“Case law makes it clear that a person’s subsequent convictions can be taken into account when assessing that defendant’s character,” Mr Hulls told reporters.

“I’ve sought advice to ensure that our sentencing act actually reflects the case law and I want to ensure that our sentencing act does reflect the common law, and if any changes need to be made they will be made but I’m waiting for that advice.

“A person’s character is one of the things that is assessed when penalties are imposed and when assessing that character a whole range of things can be taken into account, including prior convictions and subsequent convictions.”

A spokesman for the Office of Public Prosecutions said the office would consider whether to lodge an appeal if police submitted a brief to them within the next 28 days.

A police spokeswoman said it was too early to say whether an appeal was planned.


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