Archive for the ‘Northern Territory’ Category

Frederick Charles Niehus

Posted: October 9, 2018 by Serendipity in Northern Territory
Tags: ,


Age:   73  ( 2018 )

Location:   Mataranka  NT


Sentence:  Sentenced to seven years in jail with a five-year non-parole period on charges stemming from a 2008 sex attack on an 11-year-old girl. He will be eligible for parole in 2023.

Other:   Niehus was the partner of a foster carer looking after the child.




Ex-firefighter avoids prison despite having ‘worst child abuse material’ police officer had ever seen

By Georgia Hitch

Updated yesterday at 3:24pm

A former Darwin fire commander has escaped jail time for possessing what police described as some of the worst child abuse videos they had ever seen.

Andrew Stenhouse, 58, also known as Joe, pleaded guilty to possessing eight child abuse videos, with two rated in the worst category of child abuse material and the other six in the second most severe category.

Justice Peter Barr told the court the worst category included depictions of “torture, cruelty or abuse of children” and the second-worst category included “penetrative sexual activity between adults and children”.

He also said one police investigator had described the material as the “worst example of child abuse material” they had seen and found it “difficult and distressing” to view.

But Stenhouse walked free from court after Justice Barr reduced his sentence from 12 months to nine months for cooperating with investigations and pleading guilty at an early stage.

The nine-month sentence was then fully suspended.

Attempt by Stenhouse ‘to seek emotional respite’

The court heard Stenhouse had downloaded other files containing child abuse material that had been deleted from his hard drive and could not be recovered by police.

Justice Barr said in a psychiatric evaluation Stenhouse had said he viewed the child abuse videos and other material – objects being blown up and people being killed – in an attempt to seek “emotional respite”.

The court heard at the time Stenhouse was concerned about health issues after being diagnosed with a high level of PFOS – a controversial chemical previously used in firefighting foam currently being investigated by Australian and international authorities.

Stenhouse was also affected by a fatal accident that occurred between an aviation firetruck and a car which occurred on his watch as commander.

“I fail to understand how the type of material referred to in the facts [or] videos of things being blown up and people being killed could possibly have given you any possible emotional respite,” Justice Barr said.

But he said there was no evidence Stenhouse had a psychosocial disorder or sought sexual gratification by watching the videos.

Shame and embarrassment to act as deterrent

Justice Barr also said he took into account that Stenhouse had not paid for the videos, had a low amount of them, had deleted them after watching them and had stopped accessing them at the time of his arrest.

“You had not accessed child abuse material for some two months prior to the police search last year,” he said.

“You were no longer an active participant in this activity.”

Justice Barr also told the court “the shame and embarrassment [Stenhouse] experienced … and [his] public humiliation subsequently” would also act as deterrents.

Stenhouse will be subject to ongoing reporting and supervision under the Child Protection Act.




Did live in the Newcastle suburb of Carrington.


Steel was the second person in NSW to be prosecuted under the Crimes (Child Sex Tourism) Act, which was introduced in 1994 for offences in India.

Man jailed for viewing child porn at Net cafe

Posted Wed Dec 22, 2004 6:38pm AEDT

A 50-year-old man has been sentenced to nine months’ jail for viewing child pornography at a Darwin Internet cafe.

Bruce Clyde Steele pleaded guilty in the Darwin Magistrates Court to acting offensively in a public place and two charges of possessing child pornography.

Steele was released from Sydney’s Long Bay jail in October after serving five years for child sex offences.

He travelled to Darwin and three weeks later was caught downloading 94 images when he visited the Global Gossip Cafe on Mitchell Street.

In sentencing, magistrate Greg Cavanagh said Steele’s behaviour was brazen, outrageous and had shocked other customers.

Abuse victims confront sex predator in Cairns court

Melanie Petrinec

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Far Northern woman has confronted the sex predator who robbed her of her childhood more than 30 years ago.

“For approximately 35 years, I have been in prison for these crimes,” the woman said as she stared down her attacker, Cairns man Kevin John Steel in the Cairns District Court yesterday.

“I still take hot, scalding showers in a bid to clean myself.”

Steel was sentenced to four years jail, 20 years after he confessed to sexually abusing sisters Tracey and Sharon.

He was not charged until this year because police lost track of him interstate.

With her sons looking on in tears, Sharon, now 42, read her victim impact statement in person to the man who had abused her in Mt Isa.

Pausing at times to compose herself, she said she was “bewildered and angry at the world”, and her lingering emotional problems led to difficulties bonding with her first child.

“It wasn’t until the birth of my second son … that I could kiss my (first) child.

“My first son missed his mother’s kisses and affection – a birth right.

“For that, I say damn you to hell.”

The sisters, who now live in Far North Queensland, were sexually assaulted between the ages of nine and 11 in the 1970s and reported the crimes in 1989.

The court heard Steel was not formally charged until this year because he got “lost in the system” after serving two years’ jail in the Northern Territory.

The 60-year-old Innisfail-born man has numerous health problems and has been living in Cairns since 2006.

After police tracked him down last year, he pleaded guilty in Cairns District Court to two charges of attempted rape, five of indecent treatment of a child, and one of indecent assault.

Judge Bill Everson said yesterday had no choice but to sentence Steel based on the penalties enforced in the 1970s, which are significantly lower than today’s punishment guidelines.

He will be released after serving 16 months of his four-year term.

Judge Everson described the length of time it took for the defendant to appear before court as “inexcusable”, and Crown prosecutor Michael Connelly admitted Steel could have been “pursued with more vigour”.

But outside court yesterday, the two sisters were simply relieved their attacker was finally behind bars after years of believing that day would never come.

“I’m surprised that he got any time,” Tracey, 43, admitted.

“I’m glad that it’s been heard; I’m glad that he is getting sent (to jail).”

Sharon said she grappled with the idea of reading her statement in person, facing the man who caused her so much pain.

“When I walked in the courtroom this morning I thought no way, it’s not going to happen,” she said.

“And then as he made eye contact with me and I stared him down and he turned away, and I thought, ‘Yes, I will do that’.

“It was reversing the power exchange actually; he turned away two times from me.

“We’ve had our day, and we’re moving on.”

Child protection campaigner and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston yesterday commended the women’s bravery.

“Everyone’s kids are a lot safer because of what they have done today,” she said.

“It just means so much to all of us workers in this industry for them to have the guts to take these bastards on.

“My heart goes out to them, and they also have my gratitude.”


Follow us on Facebook

Man pleads guilty to possessing child abuse images

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2006 2:01pm AEST

A Yulara man has pleaded guilty in Alice Springs Magistrates Court to possessing hundreds of images of child abuse.

Police searched the home of luxury resort manager Michael John Ruff, 45, in September last year.

They found 810 still images and 31 movies depicting children in sexual poses or involved in sexual acts on a laptop and two compact discs in his bedroom.

Prosecutor Nanette Rogers told the court the images ranged in severity – the worst involved an infant being assaulted while lying in its cot and other young children dressed in bondage.

During sentencing submissions, Ruff’s defence lawyer said his client did not seek out the material and received no sexual gratification from the images.

Ruff is due to be sentenced next Thursday.

Join us on Facebook


Simon Pugh

Posted: April 6, 2014 by Serendipity in Northern Territory, Suspended Sentence
Tags: , ,

Public servant jailed for interfering with girl

Posted October 22, 2008 14:14:00

A 41-year-old Darwin public servant has been sentenced to four years in jail, three of them suspended, for interfering with an underage girl and possessing hundreds of images of child pornography.

But Simon Pugh has been given a suspended sentence and will be released next month.

Pugh pleaded guilty to several offences relating to indecently touching a 12-year-old girl and taking photos of her in various states of undress.

He was also found guilty of possessing hundreds of images of child pornography, including dozens which depicted actual sex between adults and children.

Supreme Court judge Stephen Southwood said Pugh had contributed to the exploitation, violation and abuse of children.

The judge also told the court the 12-year-old girl said she had been depressed since her contact with Pugh.

The judge said he accepted that Pugh felt remorseful and may be rehabilitated through therapy.

Pugh has been in custody since last November and will be released next month.


Join us on Facebook


Roderick Alexander Finch

Roderick Alexander Finch

In November 2005, Roderick Alexander Finch of Beerwah was jailed for four months in the Maroochydore District Court after pleading guilty to downloading more than 55,000 images and movies over four years.

In March 2006, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by Attorney-General Linda Lavarch of the original sentence.

Finch was eligible for release on 22nd March 2006.

Former WA government youth worker Roderick Finch sentenced for abusing boys in his care

A former WA Government youth worker and foster carer has been sentenced to 10 years jail for sexually abusing three boys more than 20 years ago.

55-year-old Roderick Alexander Finch pleaded guilty to more than 20 child sex offences involving three boys in the early 1990s.

The District Court was told two of the victims were wards of the State and Finch was their foster carer.

The third victim was a juvenile offender and was abused at a community work camp run by Finch.

The court heard the boy complained to police, but Finch denied the allegation and left the State.

He was charged last year after the two other victims came forward.

Judge Felicity Davis told Finch that ‘Regrettably police did not pursue any charges against you until years later’.

She said Finch had abused the trust placed in him by the boys, by the State and by the community.

Judge Davis said there was an element of forceful or coercive behaviour in Finch’s crimes, with the court hearing he told one of the victims no one would believe him if he complained.

Judge Davis said Finch had ’caused very significant harm to the three complainants’.

She said she did accept that he was remorseful and that he accepted that his offending had destroyed the lives of the boys.

Outside the court one of the victims, Rob McAuley, said he would have liked Finch to have received a longer sentence.

“I was hoping for at least 15,” he said.

But Mr McAuley said he was relieved the case was over.

“It’s over, it’s finished, now I can move on.”

He also said he did not accept Finch’s claims that he was remorseful.

“He’s had the opportunity on more than one occasion to apologise and show his remorse and he has not that done that, I do not accept his remorse whatsoever.”

“On the first night he plied with two litres of port and had his way with me and that was pretty much constantly after that, almost every day after that.”

Mr McAuley also said the Government department which put him in Finch’s care must bear some responsibility for what happened.

“Had the Department done checks they may have come across something that said hang on a minute, but they didn’t.”

Finch, who has significant health problems, will have to serve eight years before he can be released on parole.

Sentencing delayed in WA child sex case

5:53pm January 30, 2014

A former youth worker and foster carer who sexually assaulted three teenage boys more than 20 years ago was allowed to leave Western Australia despite one of his victims complaining about the abuse, a Perth court has heard.

Roderick Alexander Finch, 55, has pleaded guilty to 21 child sex offences including indecent dealings with a child, sexual penetration of a child and attempted sexual penetration of a child.

The Perth District Court heard on Thursday that Finch was the foster carer for two boys – one of whom was classified as having “special needs” – who he plied with alcohol before sexually abusing.

The third victim, a 16-year-old boy, was a juvenile offender who was abused while doing community work at a camp.

The court heard Finch moved to Queensland in the 1990s despite one of the boys complaining to police about him.

Since there had been no other allegations against Finch at the time, the only way to charge him was to extradite him, which was not warranted for one charge of indecent dealing, the court heard.

Finch’s lawyer, Jeremy Noble, said his client was not evading authorities.

“He has genuine and extreme remorse,” Mr Noble said.

Referring to the pre-sentence report, Mr Noble said Finch admitted he had “destroyed” his victims’ lives but also noted that he only offended over a period of about two years.

In a letter to his lawyer, Finch said: “I can only pray for forgiveness from the court, from God and the innocent victims.”

“I had the chance to help these kids and I didn’t help them at all – I damaged them.”

Mr Noble outlined Finch’s own traumatic past including sexual abuse and a car accident that left a young girl dead.

Finch, who has suffered two strokes in the past four years, has also been convicted of possessing child pornography and is currently fighting similar charges in Queensland.

Prosecutor Mark Nicol said Finch’s abuse demonstrated an ongoing breach of trust.

Judge Felicity Davis remanded Finch in custody and told him an immediate prison sentence was inevitable.

Outside court, one of Finch’s victims, Rob McAuley, said he was disappointed the sentencing had been delayed until February 7 but was pleased Finch had been remanded in custody.

“I’m actually happy – at least he ain’t going anywhere,” he said.

The 36-year-old said he only found out about the other victims about six months ago and it was difficult for him to sit in court as details of the abuse were read out.

“I tried not to break, which I didn’t, but I had to walk out and catch my breath for a while,” Mr McAuley said.

Join us on Facebook