Posts Tagged ‘ACT Magistrates Court’



Meyboom has appeared on a charge of committing an act of indecency in the presence of a child aged under 16.

He did not enter a plea, did not apply for bail, and no further information was presented in court.

He is listed to reappear before the court next month.

Jail term ‘manifestly inadequate’

By Elizabeth Byrne

Updated August 04, 2012 10:53:23

The ACT Court of Appeal has been told a jail sentence imposed on a man found guilty of sexual assault is manifestly inadequate.

The ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions Jon White is challenging a sentence imposed on Craig Paul Meyboom, 36, particularly in relation to two counts of sexual assault against a woman he attacked in April 2006.

Meyboom was also sentenced for two assaults and three acts of indecency on other victims.

The court heard in one instance he grabbed a girl by the neck and told her to tell her friend to leave or he would kill her.

Mr White told the court the five year sentence imposed for the sexual assault of another victim was inadequate given the maximum term of 12 years.

Mr White has told the ACT Court of Appeal the sexual assault was a case of a stranger rape of a vulnerable victim in appalling circumstances.

But Meyboom’s barrister Shane Gill has told the court a review of similar cases shows there is no inadequacy in the sentence.

On the current sentence Meyboom will be eligible for parole in November.

The court has reserved its decision.




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.



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.

Former Canberra scoutmaster jailed for child sexual abuse

By Elizabeth Byrne


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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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.



Holliday has won an appeal against convictions for an alleged plot to kidnap witnesses due to give evidence in his trial. The ACT Court of Appeal overturned the convictions. He remains behind bars for the original abuse offences.



Convicted paedophile found guilty of plot to kidnap child sexual abuse case witnesses

By Elizabeth Byrne

Wed 24 Sep 2014, 1:05pm

A convicted Canberra paedophile has been found guilty of incitement to kidnap two witnesses in his child sexual abuse trial.

Aaron James Holliday, 28, has been serving an eight-year jail sentence after being found guilty of pretending to run a police operation in Canberra that was designed to catch paedophiles.

He befriended boys under the age of 16 and convinced them to recreate real-life child sex abuse scenarios with him as part of their “training”.

In 2010 he was accused of plotting to kidnap and murder two witnesses from his trial.

Today an ACT Supreme Court jury found Holliday guilty of plotting the kidnapping and trying to pervert the course of justice, but not guilty of incitement to murder them.

Holliday had previously told the court a document outlining the plan was false.

A key part of the crown case against Holliday was an eight-page typed letter detailing how the witnesses should be kidnapped, made to retract their statements on tape and then killed.

Prosecutors told the court Holliday had given the letter to another prisoner as instructions in a plan to recruit someone on the outside to carry out the crime.

That prisoner gave the document to authorities.

Holliday took to the stand last week to defend himself against charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and incitement to kidnap and murder two witnesses.

He told the court the letter was originally hand-written by a fellow prisoner who had kept insisting he could help him with his legal problems.

Holliday said he told the man he was not interested in the proposition and reported him to a prison guard.

But he said the man tried to make him sign the letter and when he refused, the man said he should copy it in his own writing.

Holliday said he later typed the letter on the suggestion of the prison officer that he had reported the matter to.

He said he had given the names of the elder siblings of the victims so that when the police saw the letter, they would realise it was fake.

Holliday told the court the man had repeatedly asked him about his case over a period of months.

He told the court it was draining so he began feeding him incorrect details.

Holliday was also challenged over diary entries which seemed to confirm his purpose for the plan.

But Holliday told the court they were notes he was keeping as part of a plan for a crime novel and not a real diary.



Holliday has been granted a parole hearing on the 8th September. If granted parole he must then apply for bail if he wants to leave prison as he is due to face the ACT Supreme Court on 15th September to answer new charges of perverting the course of justice, and of inciting kidnapping and murder.



To stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court accused of plotting to kill his victims from jail.

Paedophile’s jail sentence halved

By Ewan Gilbert

Updated Wed 31 Jul 2013, 5:43pm AEST

A Canberra paedophile who convinced his victims they were in training to catch other paedophiles, has

had a major win against his jail sentence.

In 2010 Aaron James Holliday, 27, was sentenced to 16 years behind bars.

But on Wednesday the ACT Court of Appeal overturned that decision and halved his sentence to 8 years.

Holliday will now be eligible for parole as early as 2014.

He was found guilty of pretending to run a police operation in Canberra that was designed to catch paedophiles.

He befriended boys under the age of 16 and convinced them to recreate real-life child sex abuse scenarios with

him as part of their ‘training’.

It all caught up to him in 2009 when police also discovered large quantities of child pornography on his computers.

But Holliday appealed against the 16 year sentence saying it was crushing.

The court agreed, finding that while the crimes were serious it was not appropriate to just give up on rehabilitating Holliday.

But a close relative of one of the victims says Holliday’s earlier release will put the victims in fear for their lives.

“He did threaten violence against a number of the boys, threatened to kill them,” he said.

“It’s a very serious matter for the boys to think that they might have it held over them.

“That when he comes out of jail on parole while they’re still at a young age and really tied to an education institution, they

could be in threat of their lives or even just feel the threat to their lives.”

Paedophile’s appeal remains in limbo

February 11, 2013 – 2:46PM

Michael Inman

The sentence of a convicted Canberra paedophile remains in limbo after three appeal judges reserved their decision on Monday.

Both Aaron James Holliday and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions have appealed against Justice Richard Refshauge’s decision to jail the notorious predator for 16 years, with a non-parole period of seven years.

The 26-year-old was locked up for ”sinister” child abuse offences, including creating so-called training documents that purportedly taught the boys how to help police catch paedophiles in a fictitious ”operation paedobait”.

He also pleaded guilty to theft and possessing more than 11,000 images on his computer ranging from ”erotic” images of children to hardcore child pornography and bestiality.

Holliday’s barrister James Lawton argued sentences for the counts of theft and possession of child pornography were “manifestly excessive”.

Mr Lawton argued the full sentence of 16 years and six months imprisonment was “crushing” for a man of Holliday’s age and previously clean record.

He sought to have the total sentence reduced by two years.

But Director of Public Prosecutions Jon White argued the sentence was “manifestly inadequate” and sought to have it extended.

Mr White said the discount applied to the jail term for Holiday’s guilty plea was too high for such a late admission.

Mr White argued Holliday was a risk of reoffending and had bleak chances of rehabilitation.

Chief Justice Terence Higgins, Justice Hilary Penfold and Justice John Dowsett will hand down their decisions at a later date.

Man jailed for having sex with boys

Updated Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:38am AEDT

A Canberra man who had sex with underage boys after telling them they were training to catch paedophiles, will spend at least the next six years behind bars.

Aaron James Holliday pleaded guilty to committing an act of indecency on a child, two counts of possessing child pornography and eight counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with minors.

The 24-year-old befriended his three child victims before abusing them.

He told two of the boys they were being trained for a program called “pedobait” to help police catch paedophiles.

He took them to Mt Majura for what he told them was a training session and then engaged in sexual acts with them.

When police arrested Holliday they found 11,000 child pornography images on his computer.

In sentencing, Justice Richard Refshauge said Holliday deceived his victims in a sinister way and the abuse had long lasting affects on the children

Justice Refshauge took into account Holliday himself had been abused at boarding school.

He sentenced Holliday to 14 years and six months in jail, with a non-parol period of seven years from April last year.

Parents tell of anger over sons’ sexual abuse

By Kathleen Dyett

Updated Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:52am AEDT

A Canberra court has heard a man who sexually abused young boys by running a fake training program, has little understanding of how his actions affected his victims.

Aaron James Holliday, 24, from Braddon has pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual intercourse with underage boys.

He has also pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and committing an indecent act.

The ACT Supreme Court heard Holliday told his victims he was from a secret police organisation and they were being trained to catch paedophiles.

Family members of the victims spoke of the despair and anger they have felt about the offences committed on their children.

A father of one victim said he felt distressed and powerless about what happened to his son.

He said he hopes the case will empower other boys in such situations to come forward.

While giving evidence, Holliday agreed with the prosecution that he had gone out of his way to befriend 12-year-old boys and pursue child pornography online.

Holliday reports being sexually and physically abused while in high school and says he has sought counselling.

Holliday says if he had been given proper help for that early abuse, he would not have committed the offences.

The matter has been adjourned for sentencing next week.

Child sex accused ‘wanted work as babysitter’

Last Update: Friday, June 1, 2007. 9:47am (AEST)

The ACT Magistrates Court has heard fresh charges have been laid against a man already accused of child sexual offences.

Twenty-one-year-old Aaron James Holliday was arrested earlier this month when police conducted a search of his home in Civic and seized computer hardware allegedly containing child pornography.

In court today police claimed that Holliday also went by the name of Jake or Jacob Thomas online to seek babysitting work.

Police also say they have identified another six to eight potential victims, and allege that Holliday also had Myspace and Hotmail accounts, where he passed himself off as 14-year- old.

Holliday is also facing a charge of committing an indecent act in front of a 12-year-old boy.

A bail application has been adjourned until next week.

Male nanny porn charge

  • AAP
  • May 10, 2007 12:00AM

A MALE nanny allegedly caught with thousands of pornographic images of children also performed an act of indecency in front of a 12-year-old boy, a Canberra court heard today.

Aaron James Holliday, 21, was arrested at his Civic apartment yesterday after police allegedly found more than 50,000 images of child pornography and video files stored on his computers.

He faced the ACT Magistrates Court today on two charges of possessing child pornography and committing an act of indecency in the presence of a child.

The court was told police conducted the search of Holliday’s apartment as part of an investigation into claims the self-employed child care worker committed an act of indecency in front of a 12-year-old boy in July 2006.

Wearing jeans and a dark shirt, the slight young man did not say a word during his court appearance.

Holliday was not required to enter a plea and made no application for bail.

Magistrate Beth Campbell remanded Holliday in custody until May 24.


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Jail term follows child porn find at Parliament House

Posted Wed Sep 7, 2005 4:07pm AEST

The ACT Magistrates Court has sentenced a former public servant to a prison term for possessing child pornography on his Parliament House computer.

Wayne Edward Hewitt was sentenced to six months in prison for downloading images of children as young as four engaged in sexual acts.

Checking for an Internet virus led Parliament House IT to more than 100 pornographic images on Hewitt’s computer.

The court heard the 41-year-old Mawson man was working in Finance in February this year when IT found the images.

Lawyers for Hewitt said he did not pay for the images but the court heard that money would have changed hands somewhere down the line and simply viewing it added to the market for pornography.

Magistrate Grant Lalor said public deterrence and the protection of innocent children who are abused, violated and degraded warranted immediate imprisonment.

Bureaucrat pleads guilty to child porn charges

Posted Thu Jul 7, 2005 4:35pm AEST

A Canberra public servant will be sentenced in September for using his Parliament House computer to access child pornography.

Wayne Edward Hewitt, 41, was arrested in February after police received information that images of child pornography had been accessed by a computer in the Finance Department at Parliament House.

Officers seized the hard drive and found more than 100 images, some depicting girls as young as four-years-old engaged in sex acts.

Police then raided Hewitt’s Mawson home and seized a video about child sex tourism.

Hewitt pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography and was released on bail to be sentenced in September.


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