Rodney Nelson

Posted: February 10, 2013 by Serendipity in Queensland
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http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2011/08/16/257731_news.html

One paedophile a week ignoring court orders in NQ

NATHAN PAULL |  August 16th, 2011

THE North’s paedophiles are making a mockery of court-ordered reporting obligations, breaching laws aimed at protecting the region’s children at least once a week.

Queensland Police Service service statistics show 52 child sex offenders in the Northern police region were investigated by the Child Protection and Investigation Unit for 61 reporting breaches during the 2010/11 financial year.

Of these, 11 offenders were investigated for 14 breaches in the Mount Isa district, while 41 known paedophiles were investigated for 47 offences in the Townsville district.

The statistics come as another convicted child sex offender fronted Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday for breaching reporting requirements.

Rodney Nelson, 38, pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to report after he failed to tell Townsville police of two changes of address and a new job he acquired as a council landscaper.

The court heard yesterday Nelson either “forgot” or was “too busy” to report, despite being required, under child protection legislation, to report to police until 2014 for an offence committed in 2006.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Ian Harms said the legislation was in place to ensure police knew the whereabouts of known paedophiles to stop them from re-offending.

Magistrate Laurie Verra gave Nelson a $750 fine, recorded convictions and reminded Nelson the importance of ensuring he comply with reporting requirements.

However, Hetty Johnston, executive director of child protection lobby group Bravehearts, said the North’s paedophiles would be more reluctant to breach their reporting obligations if they knew it meant a trip back behind bars.

“I think the community takes a big leap of faith in releasing them anyway.

“It’s almost a gift that we give them now … because under (dangerous offender legislation), they don’t have to released,” she said.

Ms Johnston’s warning comes in spite of the Queensland Government this month announcing tougher child sex offender laws had been passed through parliament which would increase the maximum penalties for reporting breaches from two years’ jail or a $15,000 fine to five years in jail or a $30,000 fine.

Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts also announced the stricter laws would also mean police would be able to take DNA samples from reportable offenders in certain circumstances, while the range of offences that require automatic listing on the Child Sex Offender Register had also been expanded.

Johnston said while the government had done a lot of good work to keep watch over convicted paedophiles, mandatory minimum sentencing for serious breaches was the only way to ensure offenders took their obligations seriously.

“Their (reporting) conditions are a mile long and they argue that they can’t keep up with it all, but I would argue that if you have conditions a mile long, it tells me you are a big problem,” she said.

 

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