Archive for the ‘A.C.T’ Category


 

UPDATE: APRIL 2015

Chief Justice Helen Murrell sentenced Philpot to 19 months in jail, but released him on a two-and-a-half-year recognisance release order, which imposes conditions such as good behaviour, counselling for up to two years and supervision by the ACT Corrections Directorate for two years.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-27/former-nsw-school-principal-pleads-guilty-to-accessing-child-po/5923074

Former NSW school principal pleads guilty to accessing child pornography

By Elizabeth Byrne

Thu 27 Nov 2014, 5:04pm

A former New South Wales primary school principal will be sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court after pleading guilty to a charge of accessing child pornography.

Michael Philpot, 58, had been principal of a school in the NSW town of Young.

He was arrested last year after his employer found sexually explicit text messages and photos on his work phone.

Court documents reveal Philpot had made contact with a 13 or 14-year-old Canberra boy on an app called Grindr, before the pair communicated by phone sharing explicit conversations by text, and sending each other inappropriate images.

He has been charged with using a carriage service to access child pornography.

Philpot left the school last year after the material was found.

He will return to the ACT Supreme Court next month for sentencing.

 

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UPDATED:  NOVEMBER 2016

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-03/canberra-prisoner-sentence-nephew-sex-abuse/7992964

Canberra man sentenced to extra two years’ jail for sexually abusing nephew

Posted 24 minutes ago

A Canberra man currently imprisoned for the abuse of an 11-year-old boy has had his sentence extended by more than two years for abusing his nephew in the early 1990s.

The ACT Supreme Court has heard Willem Scheeren, 59, was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2014 for sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in the 1980s.

While in custody last year, he was charged with committing acts of indecency, attempting to engage in sexual intercourse and engaging in sexual intercourse with his 15-year-old nephew over two separate incidents between 1991 and 1992.

The court heard Scheeren had assaulted his nephew on multiple occasions when they were alone together, but the charges related only to incidents his nephew could particularise.

Scheeren pleaded guilty to all charges.

In sentencing, Justice John Burns said there was evidence Scheeren had “gained considerable insight” into his offences in the 24 years since they occurred.

Justice Burns told the court a pre-sentence report on Scheeren had revealed he had been sexually abused as a child and as a result had developed a warped sense of sexual relationships and interaction.

One doctor who saw Scheeren said he believed his “personality has been retarded by his early circumstances”.

Justice Burns said he accepted the offences “involved a breach of trust”.

He also noted that Scheeren had made contact with his nephew to apologise and acknowledge what he had done.

Scheeren was sentenced to an aggregate of two years and nine months for the four charges.

Combined with the sentence handed down by Chief Justice Helen Murrell in 2014, Scheeren was sentenced to a total of 10 years in jail.

Scheeren’s non-parole period has also been extended from June 2017 to September 2019.

 

UPDATED:  JULY 2016

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-27/canberra-child-sex-abuse-victim-speaks-out-in-court/7666580

Canberra child sex abuse victim speaks out against uncle in ACT Supreme Court

Posted yesterday at 6:19pm

A man who was sexually abused by his uncle in Canberra in the 1980s and 1990s has told the ACT Supreme Court of the profound impact the crime had on his life.

The court heard Willem Bowen Scheeren began to take an interest in his nephew Antony James Vote in the late 1980s, taking the boy on camping trips or to swim at local rivers.

Mr Vote, who wished to be identified, read a statement in court outlining how the abuse he then suffered had affected him.

“For a long time I blamed myself for what happened,” he said.

“For a time I was even confused about my sexuality.

“It happened at a critical time in my life.

“For a time I even thought I was gay.”

Mr Vote said it was still difficult for him to spend quality time with his sister’s children.

“I’m always feeling uncomfortable with thoughts of them thinking I could be the same as my uncle,” he said.

He said the abuse he suffered also exposed him to drugs and had divided his family.

“The impact it has had on my mother is what affects me the most,” he said.

I share his pain: mother

His mother Robin Vote told the court that, while juggling work and parenting, she was initially grateful for the time Scheeren spent with her son.

“I was so happy that Antony had companionship and activities to keep him occupied and, I thought, safe,” she said.

“As a mother, this is my greatest guilt.”

She said Scheeren had since “freely admitted” that he had had inappropriate sexual contact with her son but told her it was “his way of demonstrating love”.

Ms Vote said her family had become divided after her son revealed the abuse he had suffered.

Ms Vote said her son was in the process of recovering from his past.

“Antony is a loving and beloved son and brother,” she said.

“He has suffered enormously and of course I share his pain.

Scheeren has pleaded guilty and is due to be sentenced next week.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-16/former-scoutmaster-jailed-for-eight-years-over-child-sexl-abuse/5819964

Former Canberra scoutmaster jailed for child sexual abuse

By Elizabeth Byrne

Posted

A former Canberra scoutmaster will serve up to eight years in prison for sexually abusing a young boy in the 1970s.

Willem Bowen Scheeren pleaded guilty to 12 offences related to the abuse of the then 11-year-old boy, who he met after being the scoutmaster for his elder brother.

The ACT Magistrates Court heard some of the offences took place at the shoe shop where Scheeren worked.

The court heard the 58-year-old had suffered sexual abuse in his own home as a child and had not realised what he had done until he sought counselling.

Scheeren told the court he tried to apologise to the victim and that he had made admissions to police in 2005.

The charges were not pursued until a recent change in the law regarding the statute of limitations.

Justice Helen Murrell told the court Scheeren had been left alone with the boy because his parents had trusted him, but he had abused that trust.

Scheeren was sentenced to eight years in prison, with a non-parole period of two years and eight months.

 

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Singh – Ajitpal - Photo3

 

UPDATE:  JANUARY 2016

Ajitpal Singh has had his sentence cut on appeal.  The ACT Court of Appeal resentenced Singh to 8 & 1/2 years’ jail, with a non-parole period of 5 years. He will be eligible for release in October 2018.

 

UPDATE: AUGUST 2015

Adjitpal Singh is appealing his sentence as he feels it is too harsh & was much more severely punished than his co-accused.

The court has reserved its decision.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/indian-nationals-jailed-for-raping-woman-met-on-dating-app/5761272

Dating app rape trial: Two men sentenced to jail, deportation over Canberra rape

By Elise Pianegonda and Jonathon Gul

Tue 23 Sep 2014, 1:09pm

Two Indian nationals have been jailed for raping a Canberra woman they met on the dating app Tango.

Randir Singh, 21, and Adjitpal Singh, 33, were sentenced to eight and 12 years jail respectively.

The men were each found guilty of five charges, including rape and unlawful confinement.

The court heard Randir Singh made contact with the woman on an app called Tango.

The victim agreed to have sex with him, but when she arrived at the agreed place Adjitpal Singh was also present.

When the woman tried to back out Adjitpal Singh threatened to show the woman’s husband the text messages she had sent to Randir Singh.

Ajitpal Singh also told the victim that he knew where her son went to school.

The men then took the woman to an apartment in Belconnen, where they repeatedly raped her.

Randir Singh will be eligible for parole in 2019, and Adjitpal Singh in 2021.

The court heard the men were expected to be deported once they had served their sentences.

Victim afraid to go out in public

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman said she was now fearful to go out in public and for her children’s safety.

The court also heard that news of the men’s convictions had made it back to India, and they would feel embarrassed and ashamed to return to their small-town communities.

In sentencing, Justice Steven Rares said the case should set a strong precedent for other abuses of online dating applications.

“In an internet age where men and women go on these dating sites… it’s important to protect the community,” he said.

While Justice Rares took into account that Adjitpal Singh was Randir Singh’s boss and was more than 10 years older, he said Randir Singh had been vital to the whole plan.

“He played a highly active role and should not be seen as any less culpable than Adjitpal Singh,” he said.

 

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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-18/child-sex-offender-has-sentence-increased-over-library-assault/5678978

Paedophile Shane Williams has jail time increased for sexual assault of 3yo girl at library

By Elizabeth Byrne

Mon 18 Aug 2014, 7:23pm

A convicted child sex offender found guilty of attacking a three-year-old girl at a library will spend an extra three years behind bars, following a decision by the ACT Court of Appeal.

Shane Williams, 40, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ jail, with a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years, in January.

He was convicted of assaulting a man at Ainslie Village in 2012 and for sexually assaulting the three-year-old girl.

The sexual assault happened in September 2013 when the girl wandered away from her mother at the library.

The child approached Williams and said a friendly “hello”. He encouraged her to sit with him, which was when the assault took place.

The child’s mother came looking for her and found Williams sitting crouched down with his arms around the child.

When he saw the girl’s mother Williams stood up, pulled up his pants and left the library.

He had been on his way to report to the child sex offenders’ register at the time of the offence.

Williams told police he was intoxicated after drinking wine and smoking cannabis earlier that day.

The ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions told the court the sentence imposed was “manifestly inadequate”.

ACT Court of Appeal today agreed and said there was a “vital need for community protection”.

Williams’ sentence was revised up to nine-and-a-half years’ jail, with a non-parole period of seven-and-a-half years.

“This would appear to be at least the sixth episode of this nature. The offender has committed offences of this general type since he was a juvenile, for a period of more than 20 years,” justices Richard Refshauge, Hilary Penfold and John Gilmour said, in a joint decision.

The justices said that when examined, even set against the Williams’ “undeniably dysfunctional background, including in particular his own experience of childhood sexual abuse”, the sentence under appeal was manifestly inadequate.

 

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http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/action-bus-driver-made-sexual-gestures-at-school-girls-20140813-103iyz.html

ACTION bus driver made sexual gestures at school girls

August 13, 2014

Michael Inman

Courts reporter for The Canberra Times.

An ACTION bus driver who mimicked masturbation and oral sex in front school girls while driving them home has been fined and put on a bond.

The students reported Timon Skegg, 47, after his behaviour escalated to snapping photos of them on his mobile phone and contacting them on social media.

Skegg was sentenced on Wednesday to a one-year good behaviour order and fined $1400 for the offences.

Skegg pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to four counts of committing acts of indecency.

Court documents said Skegg drove an afternoon school bus run through the northern suburbs in 2012 and 2013.

Four high school students reported he had acted inappropriately towards them over 18-months.

The girls said he regularly made sexual gestures towards them, including actions that mimicked masturbation and oral sex.

The documents said Skegg would daily tell one of the teens and a male student that they wanted to have sex with each other.

On another occasions, Skegg suggested he would like to have group sex with one of the students, her mother, and her sister.

He also told one teen he wanted to have “Skype sex” with her.

Skegg was initially charged with 11 counts of committing acts of indecency.

But a number were dropped after he agreed to plead guilty to four offences.

His defence lawyer, James Sabharwal, described his client’s behaviour as “silly”, “stupid”, and “dangerous”.

Mr Sabharwal said Skegg had already suffered punishment through suspension from his job, with termination expected to be imminent once court proceedings had been finalised.

The lawyer said Skegg had no criminal history, the offences had been low level, and his client planned to relocate to Tasmania.

Prosecutor Trent Hickey said the sexualisation of children was a very serious offence.

Mr Hickey said Skegg’s crimes had been aggravated as he had been in a position of trust at the time of the offences, and occurred over an extended period of time.

“Parents trusted children to his care,” Mr Hickey said.

The prosecutor said it had also been of concern that the offender had messaged the girls via social media, an escalation of the contact they had on the bus.

No charges flowed from the communication.

Magistrate Robert Cook sentenced Skegg to the behaviour order and imposed the fine as punishment.

In handing down the sentence, Mr Cook said bus drivers carried a lot of responsibility, particularly towards children they transport.

The magistrate said Skegg had not only broken the law, but also breached policies of his employer, ACTION, and should expect to be sacked.


Edwin – Navin - Photo.

 UPDATED:  OCTOBER 2014

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-27/convicted-paedophile-has-sentenced-reduced-by-act-court/5844886

Convicted paedophile Navin Edwin has sentenced reduced by ACT court

By Gordon Taylor

Mon 27 Oct 2014, 3:43pm

An Indian national convicted of child sexual offences has had his 10-year jail sentence reduced by the ACT Court of Appeal.

Navin Edwin, 35, was convicted of 17 charges during two trials last year and sentenced to almost 11 years jail.

More than half the offences involved a six- or seven-year-old girl.

The offences included grooming, acts of indecency and production of child pornography.

Edwin also sent a naked image of himself to one victim.

In sentencing, Justice John Burns told Edwin he was a shameless liar who had shown no remorse.

Today the Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to six and a half years because of errors to do with the overlap of Territory and Commonwealth law and Justice Burns mistaking the maximum penalty on several offences.

Because Edwin has already served four years in jail he will be eligible for parole just before December 2015.

Edwin will be deported to India when he is released from prison.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-07/convicted-paedophile-navin-edwin-appeals-sentence-in-act-court/5655228

Convicted paedophile Navin Edwin appeals length of sentence in ACT court

By Elizabeth Byrne

Thu 7 Aug 2014, 4:00pm

An Indian national convicted of child sex offences has asked the ACT Court of Appeal to reduce his 10-year sentence.

Navin Edwin, 34, was convicted of 17 charges during two trials last year, and sentenced to 10 years and eight months in jail.

The offences ranged from grooming to acts of indecency and production of child pornography.

Edwin also sent a naked image of himself to one victim.

His lawyers told the court his sentence was manifestly excessive.

They argued there was a particular concern about the individual sentences for charges involving the production of child pornography when he took offensive photos of the victims.

An initial challenge to the conviction has been dropped.

At the time he was sentenced, Justice John Burns told Edwin he was a shameless liar who had shown no remorse.

Justice Burns recommended that Edwin be deported back to India upon becoming eligible for parole.

 

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UPDATE:  MAY 2017

Justice Elkaim sentenced Sutton to two years’ imprisonment, to be suspended after 18 months upon entering a three-year good behaviour order.

He ordered Sutton to take part in the adult sex offender program. He will be released next June.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-03/4500-child-porn-images-videos-allegedly-saved-by-act-man/8089806

More than 4,000 child pornography files allegedly found on Canberra man’s hard drive

Updated 3 Dec 2016, 12:39pm

A Canberra man accused of storing thousands of child pornography files has been refused bail in the ACT Magistrates Court.

Mackenzie William Sutton, 36, was charged with two offences after a police search of his home in Nicholls on Friday.

The prosecutor told the court nearly 4,500 images and videos were found on a hard drive, mostly of girls between the ages of three and nine.

Two USB thumb drives were also located, which police said may have contained child pornography that had been deleted.

During questioning, Sutton told police he didn’t know where the images came from and suggested that “hackers” could have targeted him because he was a Donald Trump supporter.

Sutton’s defence attorney applied for bail, noting he had an inherited intellectual impairment and that he was not a likely flight risk.

But this was opposed by the prosecution, who said there was a risk of interference with evidence and of further offending.

TOR software used, raising dark web concerns

Senior constable Michael Harris, from ACT Policing, told the court all of the material appeared to have been downloaded in November 2016 alone and that this was “highly unusual”.

Senior Constable Harris said the fact that TOR software, which enables anonymous internet communication, was also found suggested Sutton was familiar with the dark web.

“The moment he gets on the internet he [would] be able to delete it … unrecoverable forever,” he said.

Senior Constable Harris also told the court internet restrictions would be almost impossible to police.

“I find it difficult to be certain that he would not access internet from any other device he picks up,” he said.

Sutton was denied bail and will return to court on December 20.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/23/2722493.htm?site=idx-act

Man avoids jail time for child porn

Posted October 23, 2009 13:30:00

A Canberra judge has described sentencing an intellectually impaired man who downloaded thousands of child pornography images, as a difficult decision.

Mackenzie William Sutton, 29, pleaded guilty to accessing and possessing child pornography.

The ACT Supreme Court heard Interpol gave Australian police Sutton’s computer IP address after it was found to have accessed a Croation site under investigation.

Police seized Sutton’s computer in 2007 and found nearly 8,000 images and 116 videos featuring illicit images involving hundreds of children.

Justice Richard Refshauge sentenced him to two years jail but he will serve a three year good behaviour order with strict conditions instead of time in custody.

Justice Reshauge said although it was abhorrent, Sutton has a limited capacity to understand the nature of the offence.

He said he hopes the community understands the sentence was a very hard decision.

 

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