Raymond Wayne O’Brien

Posted: December 2, 2012 by Serendipity in NSW, Victoria
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‘Santa’ child sex attacker jailed

Jamie Berry
December 11, 2006 – 3:00PM

A man who sexually assaulted a child in Melbourne 29 years ago only to be caught last year after applying for a job as Santa Claus has been jailed for a minimum of 15 months.

Raymond Wayne O’Brien, 51, will be eligible for parole next year, having already served 216 days in custody.

O’Brien was initially charged in November 1977, but gave police a false name and fled to NSW. He was caught when he applied for a job as a Santa in 2005.

The victim, who cannot be identified, said she was “very happy” with the sentence, even though Judge Michael Bourke said many would take the view that the length of the jail term imposed on O’Brien did not reflect the gravity of the crimes.

Judge Bourke sentenced O’Brien to a maximum of three years and six months in jail, adding he was constrained by the maximum sentence, which in 1977 was five years.

“At the end of the day, what I wanted was for him to be on the sex offenders’ list,” the victim told reporters outside court. “He got more than what I expected.”

Judge Bourke said the behaviour displayed by O’Brien – who pleaded guilty in the County Court to three counts of indecent assault last month – would “revolt any decent person”.

“She lost her innocence and was then insulted and humiliated,” he said.

O’Brien attacked the girl, then aged 11, after grabbing her from a laneway in Oakleigh, on October 13, 1977. Repeatedly threatening to break her neck, he assaulted her three times. Forcing her to take $2.30 after the ordeal, O’Brien told the girl she would be called a prostitute if she went to the police.

O’Brien’s lawyer, Stewart Bayles, earlier told the court that while his client had admitted most of the offences to police, he no longer remembered the attack because he was a chronic alcoholic at the time.

But Judge Bourke said: “Your intoxication does not reduce the level of your moral culpability, which was significantly high.”

Judge Bourke told the victim he “greatly admired” her courage and dignity that she showed throughout the court case. “I wish you the very best for the rest of your life,” he said.



Guilty: 29 years later

November 17, 2006 12:00am

A MAN who sexually assaulted a child after grabbing her from a suburban Melbourne laneway almost 30 years ago today pleaded guilty.

He was arrested earlier this year after applying for a job as Father Christmas and failing a background check.

Raymond Wayne O’Brien, 51, was initially charged in November 1977 but gave police a false name then absconded.

He is facing three counts of indecent assault for the random attack on the 11-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 impact statement were read out.

Her statement describes how the assault traumatised her, forced her to leave school early and has inhibited her relationships.

She says she still suffers nightmares and feels unsafe in her own home.

The pre-sentence hearing continues.


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