Archive for February, 2016


Simon Birt - Photo3

Investigation into former Gold Coast teacher’s employment could spark changes to legislation

February 23, 2016 1:00am

A LOOPHOLE that allows suspended Queensland teachers to find work at another school is to be closed.Education Minister Kate Jones yesterday vowed to change the law after it was revealed former teacher Simon Birt was employed at the Australian International Islamic College in February and March last year while suspended from Bellevue Park State school, after allegations he had dealt inappropriately with students.“As a mother and a minister, I think this case highlights a situation where you’ve got to balance natural justice with the community expectation of safety,” Ms Jones said.

“It’s the threshold of information about employment ­details that needs to be ­examined.

“This is the first time that I have had a case like this since I’ve been a minister.”

Mr Birt was suspended in August 2014 while the allegations were investigated by the education department. They were eventually deemed to be unfounded.

On May 7, 2015 while Mr Birt was still being investigated, police charged the former teacher with possessing seven sexually explicit photos of children and an 11-minute video of boys aged 9 to 12.

Mr Birt’s Queensland College of Teachers licence was suspended on May 11.

He pleaded guilty in Southport District Court on February 10 to possessing child exploitation material and was given probation and let off without a conviction.

Ms Jones said that while she was still seeking clarity over the specifics of Mr Birt’s story, it seemed there was a loophole in the legislation. She said she believed the problem arose because there was no official channel through which the Islamic College could verify Mr Birt’s character.

Ms Jones said had Mr Birt applied to teach at another public school, he would have been knocked back.

She said there needed to be a better flow of information between government departments and independent schools.

“It was an accusation and he was immediately suspended,” she said.

“There was no way he would have been employed in a state school while he was on suspension.”

Ms Jones said she was determined to address the loophole and would look at ways she could change the Queensland College of Teachers Act.

Islamic College head of campus, Imam Mohammed Azhari, said he had checked Mr Birt’s registration and was outraged that information regarding the investigation had not been available.

“(When I found out he had been suspended) I contacted the Queensland College of Teachers and asked them what was going on, because he had been teaching at our school,” he said.

“We’ve checked and done all the procedures that we could to avoid the situation and we feel violated and we feel hard done by.

“It should have been noted straight away.”


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Man jailed for 13,000 child-porn images

A MAN police caught with more than 13,000 child pornography images has been jailed.

In the Supreme Court, in Burnie, on Thursday, Aaron Luke Dooley was sentenced to 10 months’ jail, with six months of that suspended on condition he commit no offence punishable by jail for three years.

Chief Justice Alan Blow also ordered Dooley be placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and imposed an 18-month probation order.

Dooley had told a probation officer he had no current sexual interest in children, and had been unable to explain why he had the images, the judge said.

Dooley had pleaded guilty to possessing, accessing and distributing child-exploitation material.

Justice Blow said Dooley had admitted he had been downloading and looking at the material for two years.

Of the images, more than 13,000 were of children in sexually suggestive poses and some other images were in more serious categories.

Accessing and possessing such material was treated very seriously, the judge said, because of the terrible harm which was done to sexually abused children.

Dooley distributed some of the material via internet chat rooms to people he did not know.


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Adam Charles Jose - Photo5

Dance teacher Adam Jose sentenced to five years’ jail for sexually abusing students

Posted 7 Dec 2015, 4:13pm

A former Hobart dance teacher has been sentenced to five years’ jail for maintaining sexual relationships with two female students who were under 17.

Adam Charles Jose will not be eligible for parole until after he has served two-and-a-half years of the sentence and his name is added to the register of sex offenders.

In October, Jose pleaded guilty to child sex offences relating to two of his students.

He had sexual intercourse with one between 2000 and 2003 and performed sex acts with the other between 2012 and 2013.

Justice Robert Pearce said both the girls were impressionable and vulnerable and Jose was in a position to exercise extreme control and dominance over them.

The court heard the 40-year-old had lost his business and his career was over, but Justice Pearce said Jose had brought it upon himself.


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A registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to looking at child sex abuse images online has admitted using his dead wife’s phone to search for pictures of young girls.

Phillip Wayne Doherty, 59, says he was looking for “fat girls in bikinis” on the internet and browsing sexually explicit websites when he came across child sex abuse images.

He pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court on Friday to multiple charges of using a carriage service to access child pornography and breaching parole and bail conditions that forbade him from using the internet.

The Thomastown truck driver has admitted looking at child sex abuse images, including a graphic video of a five-year-old child, between 2014 and October last year.

Doherty tried to hide evidence when police came to his home in October by throwing his dead wife’s phone in the bushes when he saw officers coming up his driveway, prosecutors told his plea hearing.

At the time he was already on bail for serious child pornography offences linked to a search of Doherty’s home two weeks after his wife died of cancer in August.

During the search the truckie confessed to police he had recently thrown out a computer that he had used to look at child abuse images.

He admitted he began using his wife’s computer in November 2014, even though his parole conditions prohibited him from using the internet.

Doherty was searching the internet for pictures of fat girls and browsing sexually explicit websites, thinking “I’m back to me old self again”, when he found the child sex abuse images.

“That’s when I got sucked in again,” he told police.

By Doherty’s own estimates, there were up to 300 child sex abuse images on the dumped computer.

He knew what he was doing was wrong, and often thought to himself: “I’m sick and I need help, but no one is going to help me”.

“I didn’t know who to ring,” he said in a police interview.

Police were unable to retrieve the computer and seized a number of electronic devices from Doherty’s home, who was charged and granted bail.

When officers returned to his home two months later and caught him trying to dump a smartphone, he admitted he had been using his wife’s phone to go online.

Doherty has been in custody since October. He will be sentenced on March 7.


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Greenland - Alex Lee - Photo4

Surf lifesaver Alex Greenland jailed for rape of 15yo girl

Updated yesterday at 2:33pm

A former respected WA surf lifesaving instructor who had a predilection for sadomasochism has been sentenced to five-and-a half years jail for sexually abusing an underage girl.

Alex Lee Greenland, 27, pleaded guilty to four charges relating to his abuse of the girl in 2010 when she was 15 and he was 21.

He maintained the sexual activity was consensual but District Court Judge Linda Petrusa rejected his claim and found that Greenland forced himself upon the girl.

They met when he worked at the Scarborough Surf Life Saving Club and at one point he had been her instructor.

Reports provided to the District Court said Greenland first showed in interest in bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) when he was in his final year at school.

A hearing last year was told in the months after the offences, the pair had sex at Greenland’s home in which the teenager said he made her wear a collar, poured hot wax on her and whipped her “like an animal”.

Humiliated victim had no choice, judge finds

Judge Petrusa said it was of “concern” that Greenland had maintained BDSM was “not a big part” of his sex life, while the teenager had testified it had “dominated” their sexual activity.

Judge Petrusa said the victim felt humiliated and believed she had no other choice but to engage in the activity.

She described Greenland’s crimes as “very serious”, saying he had focused on his own needs and ignored the girl’s verbal and physical resistance.

“You showed no regard for her wishes … you used force and aggression to achieve your sexual gratification,” she told him.

Judge Petrusa also said the offences had a “profound effect” on the victim.

Outside the court, the victim, who is now 21, welcomed the sentence and said she was relieved the case was over.

Greenland will have to serve three-and-a-half years in prison before he can be released on parole.


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Crowe - Richard John - Photo.

Sydney man Richard John Crowe who raped five children sentenced to 12 years’ jail

Updated 4 Sep 2015, 12:15am

A man who kidnapped and raped five children across Sydney more than two decades ago has been jailed.

In what authorities described as “every parent’s worst nightmare”, Richard John Crowe grabbed girls as young as nine off the streets and took them to remote locations, where he raped them at knifepoint.

Crowe eluded police for 25 years before cold case investigators finally cracked the case.

The 45-year-old from Riverwood was arrested last year and, after pleading guilty to multiple charges of kidnapping and sexual assault, was yesterday sentenced to a maximum of 12 years in jail.

District Court Judge Anthony Garling said the attacks were calculated and predatory.

“He set out to physically attack young girls — children — going about their daily lives, no doubt feeling safe and enjoying their youth, as they were entitled to do,” he said.

“He terrified them, changed their lives, they no longer feel safe. It has badly affected all of them.”

‘Long hard slog’ to find Crowe

The sentencing was the culmination of an exhaustive police investigation beginning in 2011.

The NSW Police Force’s Cold Case Justice Project was able to identify the same DNA at all five crime scenes and the new lead was referred to the Sex Crimes Squad. Strike Force Woolwich was formed to investigate all five matters.

Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett, who oversaw the investigation, told the ABC it took three years of hard slog to narrow down the search for the rapist.

“They went back to basics, they attended the crime scenes,” she said.

“They looked at old offender photos, checked with corrections, looked at modus operandi, not only in NSW but other states as well.

“It really was hard work. It took them a couple of years. At one stage they had a list of 13,000 persons to look at and they managed to break it down to about 116 persons, and as a result of that we identified the offender.”

Other victims of sexual assault urged to come forward

One of Crowe’s victims, Rebecca Nimmo, said she had given up hope of an arrest because it was like “finding a needle in a haystack.”

“What the police have done is unbelievable. Amazing. I never thought in a million years that this day would ever, ever happen,” she said.

Ms Nimmo was 17 years old when Crowe grabbed her from behind as she walked to work in Artarmon in 1991.

Speaking exclusively to the ABC, Ms Nimmo said Crowe threatened her with a knife and dragged her into nearby bushes.

“All I could think about were things on the news about other people that have been raped or gang raped,” she said.

“All I was doing was going ‘just let me go. I don’t care what you do to me, just let me go’.”

After the attack, Crowe told Ms Nimmo she could go, but she froze.

“I was scared he was going to chase me again. So I just froze in the bushes and just waited for him to leave the scene,” she said.

It was one of five similar attacks on young girls across Sydney between 1989 and 1991. The other girls, aged between nine and 12, were abducted from streets in the Bankstown area.

In each case, Crowe took the girls to isolated locations and raped them.

The cases were thoroughly investigated, but due to forensic limitations at the time, no-one was charged. That was until it was re-opened as a cold case.

Detective Superintendent Howlett said police wanted to encourage rape victims to come forward, no matter how long ago they were assaulted.

“Once we have an investigation we just never give up. If you commit an offence we’ll eventually track you down,” he said.

Ms Nimmo is relieved that she will no longer be looking over her shoulder for Richard Crowe.

“I have tears of joy that you’re going away. Justice has got you,” she said.

“It’s given me a sense of stability again. It’s made me feel like I’m a person again.”

She said she had decided to go public to urge other victims of sexual assault to seek help.

“Never give up. It’s not your fault. And don’t ever blame yourself because it’s out of your control,” she said.

Crowe will be eligible for parole in 2022.


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