New names for pedophiles

ANNE MATHER   |   July 23, 2011 12.01am

AN advocate for abuse victims fears convicted sex offenders have been using a loophole in the law to change their names after release from prison.

Beyond Abuse spokesman Steve Fisher said yesterday it appeared a convicted Tasmanian pedophile had changed his identity since moving interstate.

Mr Fisher said former Anglican priest Garth Stephen Hawkins was now in South Australia and had allegedly changed his name by deed poll to “Robin Goodfellow”.

Mr Fisher, who is one of Hawkins’ victims, said convicted sex offenders were able to change their name under Tasmanian law up until only four weeks ago.

Mr Fisher said the legal loophole which allowed sex offenders to change their names had been raised as an issue nationally three years ago, but Tasmania had been slow in amending the legislation.

“This would never have happened if the Government had done what it was meant to do,” Mr Fisher said. “We want an apology.”

The Tasmanian Government passed the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Amendment Bill on June 16 this year, which allows the Police Commissioner the right to veto an offender changing their name.

Hawkins was jailed in 2003 on 11 counts of sexual abuse of boys he met through his work as an Anglican priest at East Devonport, Triabunna and Hamilton. He admitted abusing seven youths, aged between 13 and 18, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Hawkins moved to South Australia when he was released from jail two years ago.

Mr Fisher said he recently learned of Hawkins’ alleged name change from someone in South Australia who is writing a book about pedophiles’ links to the Church of England Boys Society from the 1960s to 1990s.

Mr Fisher said he was appalled by the name Robin Goodfellow, because it appeared to be taken from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“The biggest kick in the stomach was the name Robin Goodfellow — he is known as the naughty fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in medieval times Robin Goodfellow was known as the devil,” he said.

Former Anglican priest to be released from jail

Posted Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:07am AEDT

A Tasmanian man sexually abused as a teenager says he has mixed feelings about his attacker being released from jail.

The Parole Board has approved the release of former Anglican priest Garth Stephen Hawkins, who was jailed in 2003 for abusing seven teenagers during the 1970s and 80s.

One of his victims, Steve Fisher, says he’s satisfied the Parole Board has applied strict conditions for Hawkins’ release.

“I believe that you know there’s nothing more they could have done,” Mr Fisher said.

“I would prefer to see him in jail for the term of his natural life, as would all of the other guys, but you know this is the, the law as it throws it up to us,” he said.

Mr Fisher is also a spokesman for the survivors’ group Beyond Abuse.

Former priest to be placed on sex offenders register

Posted April 7, 2008 18:16:00

A former Tasmanian Anglican priest and convicted paedophile will be put on the sex offenders register for 8 years.

62-year-old Garth Stephen Hawkins will be listed on the register when he’s released from prison.

In 2003, Hawkins was sentenced to seven and half years in jail for abusing seven teenage boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2004 he was sentenced to a further nine months prison for molesting another teenage boy in the 1980s.

Earlier this year police applied to the Magistrates Court to have the former priest placed on Tasmania’s sex offenders register.

Magistrate Glenn Hay ordered Hawkins to have a forensic mental health assessment before he made a decision.

This morning Mr Hay, granted the application.


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  1. Just like Barry Watson of park orchards

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