Posts Tagged ‘Sex Offenses’


 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/14/3163593.htm

Geraldton man jailed over child pornography

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:49pm AEDT

A 60 year-old Geraldton man has been sentenced to 14 months jail for possessing hundreds of images and videos of child pornography.

Peter Garry Criddle’s Rangeway home was raided in August last year following an investigation by the Police Online Exploitation Squad.

The images and videos were stored on a computer, 48 discs and six portable thumb drives.

Criddle was fined $250 for possessing an indecent or obscene article involving adults and animals.

He will be eligible for parole after seven months.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/27/2995191.htm

Geraldton man pleads guilty to child porn offences

Posted Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:25am AEST

A 60-year-old Geraldton man has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

Police raided Peter Garry Criddle’s Rangeway home last Friday following an investigation by the Online Child Exploitation Squad.

A computer and 48 disks containing movies and images of children as young as two years old were seized.

Criddle yesterday pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing or copying child pornography and one charge of possessing an indecent or obscene article.

Magistrate Michael Wheeler ordered a psychological report ahead of Criddle’s sentencing in the District Court in December.

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Craig Stanley and Rebecca Michels

Ten months’ jail for child sex offences

Mark Russell

July 4, 2012 – 4:30PM

A man who was on the run with his fiancee for 21 days after a child pornography raid on their Langwarrin home had been a nudist since he was 16, a court heard today.

Craig Stanley would attend nudist swimming nights for adults and children at Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre.

Children aged under 18 have since been barred from attending the fortnightly events.

Stanley, 28, and Rebecca Michels, 25, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today on child pornography charges.

Stanley, a former soldier and private detective, pleaded guilty to three charges of making, possessing and transmitting child pornography.

Michels pleaded guilty to making child pornography. This charge carries a maximum 10 years’ jail.

Magistrate Jack Vandersteen said the couple had exploited an innocent and vulnerable young girl by taking pornographic photographs of her.

He jailed Stanley for a minimum of 10 months and ordered he be placed on the serious sex offenders register for life. Stanley has been in custody for 229 days since his arrest.

Michels was placed on an 18-month community corrections order and will be on the serious sex offenders register for eight years.

Prosecutor Anne Hassan told the court Michels had moved from Darwin to live with Stanley in January last year.

The couple had been in a relationship when Michels was in her teens and got back together after Stanley contacted her again.

Police raided their home on October 27 last year after a tip-off from the FBI and found Stanley’s large collection of child pornography, including more than 17,000 photographs and 531 videos.

The collection included a total of 279 home-made pornographic photographs of a young girl taken over a two-year period from when she was aged from about seven to 10 years old.

Ten of the photos were of the young girl and Michels taken on August 27 last year during two photo sessions when they were both naked.

When later interviewed by police, the young girl said Stanley had given her gifts, including a pink hippopotamus.

Ms Hassan said Stanley had been “grooming” the young girl.

“She’s a deeply exploited child in my submission,” the prosecutor said.

She urged Mr Vandersteen not to accept a psychological report which claimed Stanley was not a paedophile and his risk of re-offending was low.

Stanley and Michels were on the run for 21 days after the police raid on their home before being arrested in Dimboola, near Horsham, on November 18.Defence lawyer Jim Dounias, for S

Tanley, told the court the young girl had been photographed naked after nights spent at the Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre night-time nudist swimming sessions.

Asked by Mr Vandersteen why Stanley crossed the line and start to take pornographic pictures of the young girl, Mr Dounias said it was unclear.

Mr Vandersteen said that at some point Stanley had gained the child’s trust to do what she did.

“This doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” he said.

Mr Dounias said the line was crossed in the setting of “a nudist environment” as the young girl would regularly go along to the nudist swimming sessions.

He said Stanley accepted full responsibility for what had happened and Michels was not to blame.

Fugitive couple plead guilty to child porn

Shannon Deery

From: Herald Sun

July 04, 2012 1:52PM

A FUGITIVE couple who spent 21 days on the run after police raided their home last year have pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

Craig Stanley, 28, and Rebecca Michels, 25, were arrested in Dimboola in November after a three-week police hunt for the pair.

The couple fled after a police raid of their home sparked by a tip off from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today it was alleged more than 80,000 pornographic images were uncovered during the raids.

Of them more than 17,000 images and 531 videos depicting child pornography, including children as young as one-year-old, were found.

Prosecutor Anne Hassan told the court some images showed Michels posing naked and semi-naked with a 10-year-old girl.

The court heard Michels appeared naked alongside the girl in 10 images.

Ms Hassan said it was believed the girl was as young as seven when the first naked photos of her were taken in 2009.

It was alleged the girl’s father and stepmother were also naked in some of the 279 images that were taken over a two-year period and showed close-up shots of the girl’s genitals.

The court heard the couples were nudists who met at a public pool.

As a result of police inquiries the other couple are also facing charges.

Michels, who is on bail, pleaded guilty to one count of making child porn.

Her parents walked out of court as details of the charges were read out.

Stanley, who is in custody, pleaded guilty to three charges including making, possessing and transmitting child porn.

Other charges against the pair were dropped.

Ms Hassan said the young girl told police Stanley and Michels were her “aunty and uncle” and that her dad “doesn’t do anything to hurt me”.

She said the girl, who appeared “distressed” during a police interview, was a “deeply exploitive child”.

The court heard the girl was involved in a series of photo “sessions” with one allegedly lasting up to five hours.

Images depicting the girl were all deemed to be in a low category of child pornography, the court heard.

But some images downloaded by Stanley included sadism and bestiality, it was alleged.

Jim Dounias, for Stanley, said his client had been “immersed in pornography” since the age of 13.

“We don’t blame Ms Michels for anything, we take full responsibility for everything,” he said.

Mr Dounias said while more than 17,000 images of child pornography were allegedly found on Stanley’s computer, he had not viewed all the content.

But Magistrate Jack Vandersteen questioned why it had been downloaded at all.

“How do you download stuff and not look at it and not know what you’re doing?” he said.

Michels will be assessed for a community corrections order this afternoon.

The couple are expected to be sentenced later today.

Fugitive couple pleads guilty to various charges

ABC Updated July 4, 2012, 1:11 pm

A Melbourne court has heard a couple who evaded police for three weeks during a child pornography investigation, gave gifts to a young girl who posed in photos with them.

The Magistrates Court was told Rebecca Michels and Craig Stanley went on the run late last year before being arrested near Dimboola, in Victoria’s north west.

The two were in court today as prosecutors outlined the case against them.

The court heard 28 year old Stanley is a private detective, who was in possession of more than 17 thousand graphic images, including some with children as young as one.

Prosecutors also said the couple made their own child pornography, using a girl known to them, who was between 7 and 10 years of age.

The court heard Michels and Stanley gave the girl gifts when they returned from holidays to Darwin and Hollywood.

The couple has pleaded guilty to a range of offences,

Former fugitives Craig Stanley and Rebecca Michels to plead guilty to making child pornography

Norrie Ross

From: Herald Sun

May 18, 2012 12:51PM

A COUPLE who sparked a 21-day nationwide manhunt when they went on the run after a police raid have admitted they were involved in making child pornography, a court heard today.

Lawyers for Rebecca Michels, 25, and Craig Stanley, 28, of Frankston, indicated they will plead guilty to charges when their case is before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court again in July.

Michels, who was in court today, will plead guilty to one count of making child pornography and Stanley will plead guilty to charges of making, possessing and transmitting child pornography.

Magistrate Jack Vandersteen agreed to a request from defence lawyers that he grant summary jurisdiction in the case, meaning the couple will not have to face the County Court for plea and sentencing.

Mr Vandersteen continued Michels’ bail and he was told that Stanley may apply for bail in the next few weeks.

Michels and Stanley fled after police seized more than 40,000 images and about 400 videos of child pornography from their Frankston home.

They were eventually arrested in Dimboola, near Horsham, in November last year.

An earlier court hearing was told Michels loved Stanley but she pleaded with strangers to alert the police so they would be found.

Sen-Det Rosemary Ross told the earlier court appearance that Michels described Stanley as a “sex fiend”.

Computer files seized from the couple’s home revealed 76 images of a naked and semi-naked Ms Michels, who looks much younger than her years.

In a number of photos, she was posing with a 10-year-old girl.

“The accused is laughing and she appeared to be a willing participant,” the detective said.

After three weeks on the run Michels waited until Stanley left their bush camp site to obtain supplies before revealing to strangers that they were fugitives.

Mr Vandersteen adjourned the case until July 4.

Child-porn runaway accused in court

Mark Russell

April 26, 2012 – 12:22PM

A woman who allegedly went on the run with her fiance for 21 days after a child porn raid on their Langwarrin home travelled from Darwin to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today.

Prosecutor Marisa DiPietrantonio told the court more time was need to resolve discussions with lawyers for Rebecca Michels, 25.

Ms DiPietrantonio said the issues in contention were “quite defined”.

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Magistrate Felicity Broughton adjourned the matter for a committal case conference on May 18.

Bail for Ms Michels, who has been living with her family in Darwin, was continued.

Ms Michels’ fiance, Craig Stanley, 28, later appeared via video link and was remanded in custody to also appear on May 18.

The couple have been charged with making, possessing and transmitting child pornography, and committing indecent acts with a child under 16.

Ms Michels was granted bail at her court appearance in December when her father agreed to put up a $100,000 surety.

During this previous hearing, the court was told the couple had been on the run for 21 days after police raided their Langwarrin home.

Police had seized computer files which allegedly included 76 images of a naked and semi-naked Ms Michels and in several photographs she was posing with a 10-year-old girl.

Thousands of other child pornography images were allegedly found on computers taken from their home.

Ms Michels and Mr Stanley were arrested at a bush camp 400 kilometres north-west of Melbourne on November 18.

Run-away Frankston pair in court on child porn counts

Mark Russell

March 23, 2012 – 1:18PM

A woman who allegedly went on the run with her fiance for 21 days after a child porn raid on their Langwarrin home appeared in court today via videolink from Darwin where she is on bail.

Rebecca Michels, 25, appeared before Magistrate Duncan Reynolds, who was told the matter needed to be adjourned for ongoing plea negotiations.

Ms Michels, who told the court she had hired a lawyer from Sydney, agreed for her case to be put off until April 26.

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Her fiance, Craig Stanley, 28, also appeared via videolink where his defence lawyer Jim Dounias told the court there were a number of matters to be sorted out.

“There are some unusual aspects to this case,” Mr Dounias said.

Mr Stanley was also remanded to appear again on April 26.

The couple have been charged with making, possessing and transmitting child pornography, and committing indecent acts with a child under 16.

Ms Michels was granted bail at her last court appearance in December when her father agreed to put up a $100,000 surety and the prosecution submitted she was not expected to offend again on bail.

During this previous hearing, the court was told the couple had been on the run for 21 days after police had raided their Langwarrin home.

Police had seized computer files which allegedly revealed 76 images of a naked and semi-naked Ms Michels and in a number of photographs she was posing with a 10-year-old girl.

There were allegedly thousands of other child pornography images found on computers taken from their home.

Ms Michels and Mr Stanley were arrested at a bush camp 400 kilometres north-west of Melbourne on November 18.

City swim centre linked to child porn case

BY ANNA WHITELAW

21 Dec, 2011 01:00 AM

MARIBYRNONG Council is threatening to permanantly shut down a regular, night-time nudist swimming session at a public pool, after a couple who attended were later found in possession of child pornography.

Langwarrin couple Craig Stanley, 28, and Rebecca Michels, 25, face charges relating to possessing child pornography, producing child porn and performing an indecent act with a child.

Court documents from Michels’ bail hearing revealed the couple appeared in dozens of photos posing semi-naked and naked with a 10-year-old girl.

The parents of the 10-year-old – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – also appear in the photos. Both couples are believed to have attended Solar West naturist club’s fortnightly swimming nights at Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre. A club spokesman, who declined to be named, confirmed Stanley had been a member of the club “years previously” and attended a swim night once in May this year.

One of the parents was also believed to have attended that night session. It was not known whether the child was also present.

After the allegations emerged, the council met with the club, the spokesman said.

Earlier this month, the council informed the club its night sessions were “suspended indefinitely” until the court case had been resolved, a club spokesman said.

Solar West naturist club had been running regular nudist swim nights every second Saturday at the Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre for over 20 years “without incident”, he said.

The spokesman said the club had no knowledge or involvement, and police had not contacted them.

He said Solar West had been unfairly implicated. “Like any social or sports club, we are not responsible for our members. What they do in their own time is nothing to do with us,” the spokesman said.

He maintained “nothing untoward or suspicious” took place in May. “There is nothing sexual about [the naturist] lifestyle,” he added.

It is not known whether the two couples met at the swim night or previously knew each other.

Court documents revealed the parents had “made admissions” relating to taking photographs with their daughter.

Michels and Stanley were arrested in Dimboola in November. They had gone missing after being linked to an FBI child porn investigation.

Police found the photos of the girl along with 40,000 images alleged to be child pornography when they seized computers and cameras in October.

The parents of the child are yet to be formally charged but were expected to be charged on summons.

Girl’s parents linked to porn case

Anna Whitelaw

December 11, 2011

POLICE have seized computers belonging to the parents of a 10-year-old girl who appeared nude in photos with Frankston couple Craig Stanley and Rebecca Michels.

The parents, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were questioned by police after they were found to appear in nude photographs with their daughter.

Stanley, 28, and Michels, 25, face charges relating to possessing child pornography and producing child pornography, as well as committing an indecent act with a child.

Police found the images of the girl when they confiscated computers and cameras from the Langwarrin couple’s home after an email address associated with the couple was linked to an FBI investigation into an online child porn ring.

Stanley and Michels went missing after police searched their home, and were arrested in Dimboola following a 21-day manhunt.

Court documents from Michels’ bail hearing revealed the 10-year-old’s parents had ”made admissions” to being involved in taking the photographs with their daughter.

Both couples appeared in the photographs naked with the girl. They are believed to have attended a regular nudist swimming night held at a Maribyrnong public swimming pool.

The parents of the girl have yet to be charged but are expected to be charged on summons.

Detective Leading Senior Constable Rosemary Ross, from Frankston police’s sex offences unit, said the parents were co-operating with police. ”[The girl’s parents] are the subject of an ongoing investigation,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Solar West naturist club confirmed Stanley and Michels had attended its nudist night in May, along with one of the 10-year-old’s parents.

Maribyrnong City Council had ”suspended indefinitely” the swim nights following the allegations, the spokesman said.

Michels and Stanley both face committal hearings on February 24. Michels has been released on $100,000 bail, while Mr Stanley has yet to apply for bail.

The girl has been taken into the care of the Department of Human Services.

Fugitive woman ‘posed naked with 10yo girl’

Yahoo!7 December 2, 2011, 3:20 pm

Detectives say the Victorian couple on the run from police last month were both naked in photos with a ten-year-old girl.

The woman allegedly involved, Rebecca Michels, 25, has now been granted bail until her child pornography charges are heard.

Ms Michels and her fiance Craig Stanley, 28, were on the run for three weeks last month after police raided their Langwarrin home.

The couple were arrested at a campsite near Dimboola in western Victoria after Ms Michels asked a fellow camper to tip off police as to her whereabouts.

The accused says she then left a trail so police could track them down, and she described Stanley as a sex fiend.

Today, police told the Magistrates’ Court they found tens of thousands of child pornography images on computers at the couple’s home.

Senior Detective Rosemary Ross told the court Ms Michels appears in 76 of them, and in a number of the photographs she was posing with a 10-year-old child.

Many also feature Stanley and the girl’s parents, who have been charged by police, the court heard.

The girl is now in the care of the Department of Human Services.

Ms Michels’ stepfather has put up $100,000 in surety and she was granted bail to live with her parents in Darwin.

Outside court, Ms Michels’ barrister, Ben Archibold, said: “They’ll be happy to take her back to the Northern Territory. She’ll be safe and well with them and she’ll return to fight the matter before the court.”

Detectives still have to go through another 40,000 photos found on computers seized from the couple’s home in a process likely to take months.

The images are so graphic and disturbing, police can only look at them for a couple of hours at a time.

The court also heard the Dimboola supermarket owner, who reported seeing Craig Stanley, had since received a threatening letter.

It read: ‘In the bikie world, give up snitches like you are dealt with a broken arm or leg, but in your case, we’ll just burn ya shop down.”

Rebecca Michels tipped off campers she was on the run, court told

By Norrie Ross

Herald Sun

December 02, 2011 2:23PM

A WOMAN who went on the run with her fiancé after a child porn raid on their Frankston home pleaded with people to alert the police so they would be found, a magistrate heard today.

Sen-Det Rosemary Ross told a bail hearing that seized computer files revealed 76 images of a naked and semi-naked Rebecca Michels, 25, and in a number of photographs she was posing with a 10-year-old girl.

Thousands of other child pornography images, some of the most extreme and upsetting kind, had been found on computers taken from their home.

Sen-Det Ross said that after 21 days on the run Ms Michels waited until co-accused and partner Craig Stanley, 28, left their camp site to obtain supplies before revealing to members of the public that they were fugitives.

Ms Michels said that if Mr Stanley found out police were on to them he would “do a runner or harm himself” and she said he would never be found because he was army trained.

Sen-Det Ross said that when police arrived at Dimboola she told them they lived on carp and baked beans and they planned to survive on $100 a week which would last them until 2012.

“She was aware police were looking for them both but they did not want to be found and wanted to spend as much time together until police found them both, because she loved him,” the detective told Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Dan Muling today grant bail to Ms Michels after hearing her father would put up a $100,000 surety and a prosecution submission they did not believe she would offend again while on bail.

Mr Muling ordered that Ms Michels live with her family in Darwin, she was ordered to forfeit her passport and he also said she could not contact her co-accused or access the internet except for work.

Ms Michels and Mr Stanley were arrested at a bush camp, 400km northwest of Melbourne on November 18

Mr Stanley was nabbed while shopping for groceries in a Dimboola supermarket.

They were charged with making, possessing and transmitting child pornography, and committing indecent acts with a child under 16.

Ms Michels, who is tiny and has a child-like stature, smiled and nodded from the prisoner’s dock to her father, Ross McAdie, who travelled to Melbourne for the bail hearing.

Sen-Det Ross said the FBI alerted Australian Federal Police that a number of child pornography images had been uploaded to a website from an email address in Australia that contained the word “lolitasforever”.

On October 27 police raided the Langwarrin home of Mr Stanley and Ms Michels and seized a number of computers and storage devices and two days later the couple went missing after telling friends they were going gold prospecting near Ballarat.

Sen-Det Ross said that examination of the computer files revealed a number of images of Ms Michels, Mr Stanley and two other adults sitting naked on a couch together with a 10-year-old girl.

As a result of police inquiries the other couple are facing charges and the child is in the care of the DHS.

Under cross examination from defence barrister James Trevallion the detective said it appeared Mr Stanley was a “controlling person” and a witness had described him as being possessive.

But Sen-Det Ross said that in the pornographic images with the child Ms Michel appeared to enjoying herself.

“The accused is laughing and she appeared to be a willing participant,” the detective said.

Outside court Ms Michels’ solicitor, Ben Archbold said his client was happy to be allowed to return to her family in Darwin until the case continues next year.

Frankston woman released on bail as police sift through child porn images

Nino Bucci

December 2, 2011 – 12:44PM

A Frankston woman who led police on a three-week search has been released on bail.

Lawyers for Rebecca Michels, 25, successfully argued she was not a flight risk after she and fiance Craig Stanley were found at a campsite in Victoria’s west on November 19.

Michels is charged with one count of an indecent act with a child under 16, two counts of having made or produced child pornography, and one count of knowingly having possessed child pornography.

Stanley, 28, faces five similar charges, including one count of an indecent act with a child under 16 after police allegedly found 40,000 child pornography images, including depictions of sadism, beastiality and humiliation which can include bondage. Police have also have been analysing about 400 videos.

It will be alleged that Michels posed naked and in various states of undress in 76 photos with a 10-year-old, her partner and two other adults, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard today.

Detective Leading Senior Constable Rosemary Ross told the court Michels was in various positions  in the photographs but they did not depict sexual activity.

The couple had been missing from their Langwarrin home in Melbourne’s south-east following a police raid on October 27, sparking a statewide search and appeals from Michels’ distraught family.

Michels was  granted bail on a $100,000 surety and on the condition she reside with her family in Darwin, where she is originally from.

Lawyer, James Trevallion, argued the fact Michels’ had given herself up to police while camping in Dimboola meant that if bailed she would not be flight risk.

“A person doesn’t give themselves up so that later if they’re granted bail they can flee,” Mr Trevallion said.

“It doesn’t make sense.”

Senior Constable Ross said police were concerned that witnesses had been intimidated, as the manager of the Dimboola IGA, where Stanley was caught by police, had been sent a death threat.

Stanley has made no application for bail and remains in custody.

Frankston couple arrested after FBI tip

by: Anthony Dowsley

From: Herald Sun

November 29, 2011 12:00AM

A FRANKSTON couple who spent 21 days on the run were the target of a police operation tipped off by the FBI.

Craig Stanley, 28, and Rebecca Michels, 25, who were arrested in Dimboola on November 18, were raided after photos allegedly depicting child pornography were detected by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A subsequent raid and seizure of computers led to a second couple – who knew Mr Stanley and Ms Michels – being investigated.

It is believed both couples are nudists and met at a public pool during a naked swimming night.

Some charges emanate from a later gathering at a house in Melbourne’s west.

It is not known if the second couple have been formally interviewed by police.

The FBI allegedly found transmissions from a computer, which were tracked to an internet protocol address – a registered number attached to computers and other devices.

The FBI notified the Australian Federal Police, which sent the information to Victoria Police, which executed warrants on a Langwarrin property on October 27.

The Langwarrin couple were charged with crimes involving a minor aged between 10 and 16.

Both Mr Stanley and Ms Michels have applied for bail.

Mr Stanley is listed to appear in court today and Ms Michels on Wednesday.

Part of what has been recovered is a 15-second video, which allegedly shows a naked 10-year-old.

More than 30,000 images have been analysed by police.

Ms Michels was apparently unaware of the national manhunt for her and her fiance.

Craig Stanley, 28, and fiance Rebecca Michels, 25, plan to ask for bail

by: Shannon Deery

From: Herald Sun

November 22, 2011 12:00AM

A COUPLE who were the targets of a 21-day manhunt before being arrested and charged with child porn offences plan to ask for bail.

Craig Stanley, 28, and fiance Rebecca Michels, 25, briefly faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court yesterday, at separate hearings.

They were arrested last week after they were found at a bush camp, 400km northwest of Melbourne.

They were charged with making, possessing and transmitting child pornography, and committing indecent acts with a child under 16. Mr Stanley was charged with posing naked for photographs with a child under 16.

They had disappeared last month after police raided their Langwarrin home and seized their computers.

An alleged victim had spoken to police.

Mr Stanley’s lawyer, Jim Dounias, told the court his client was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and he was concerned media coverage could prejudice any trial.

He said a bail application would be made next Tuesday.

Spiros Prapas, for Ms Michels, said she also planned to ask for bail.

The couple were arrested last week after campers in Little Desert National Park reported them to police.

They were remanded in custody until next week.

Couple in court on child porn charges

Adam Cooper

November 21, 2011

Couple in court on child porn charges

A Langwarrin couple arrested last Friday, weeks after they disappeared, have been remanded in custody to return to court next week.

Craig Stanley, 28, and Rebecca Michels, 25, were last week charged with child sex offences and today separately fronted Melbourne Magistrates Court.

The couple was arrested last Friday in Dimboola, in north-west Victoria, after they disappeared a day after Michels’ birthday last month.

Stanley has been charged with five offences, including committing an indecent act with a child under 16, and making child pornography.

He wore a grey t-shirt with a logo on the front and kept his head bowed during his brief court hearing.

Stanley’s lawyer, Jim Dounias, requested details of the case not be released to the media as the couple’s disappearance had already attracted “sufficient publicity” and that there was more information to be released.

“There is a great deal of water to go under the bridge before matters are determined,” Mr Dounias said.

But magistrate Lance Martin allowed details of the charges to be released, as the media’s request was nothing out of the ordinary.

The court heard Stanley planned to apply for bail in his next court appearance.

Michels was also remanded in custody to reappear next Tuesday, but her lawyer, Ben Archbold, did not say whether his client planned to apply for bail.

Michels, who wore a grey zip up jacket, kept her head down throughout the hearing except for an occasional glance to her parents and at one stage wiped a tear away with her sleeve.

As she was escorted out of the dock, Michels mouthed the words “I love you” to her parents, who were in the gallery.

Stanley was arrested while shopping for groceries in a supermarket after the store owner recognised him from a police description.

Michels was arrested soon after at a campsite by the Wimmera River, in the Little Desert National Park. Stanley led police to Michels.

Missing couple arrested

|  November 19th, 2011

A FRANKSTON couple have appeared in court and been charged with indecent acts and making child pornography.

Craig Stanley, 28, a former Geelong gaol employee, and Rebecca Michels, 25, appeared separately before Horsham Magistrates’ Court yesterday afternoon after being arrested yesterday morning following three weeks on the run.

Both have been charged with indecent acts with a child under 16, making child pornography, possessing child pornography and transmitting child pornography.

The pair have been remanded in custody to appear on Monday at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

The couple was arrested after a tip-off from campers who spotted their bush hideaway in Dimboola, almost 400km northwest of Melbourne.

Mr Stanley was spotted at an IGA supermarket and arrested about 9.40am.

Police then went to a campsite at a nearby national park where they arrested Ms Michels, his fiancee, in Dimboola about an hour later.

Police said other campers also in the national park raised the alarm after recognising the pair from media reports.

They had been holed up in a bush campsite on a river bed in the Dimboola National Park, police said.

Speaking outside the Frankston Police Station, Detective Inspector Shayne Pannell said police had made contact with the couples’ families.

He said police were uncertain how long the pair had been camping, but said it had been at least “several days”.

He said the pair appeared to have lost some weight, but had not attempted to disguise their appearance and were both arrested without incident.

“It was an approach to Craig, (he was) identified and taken into custody. When police attended the campsite on the river bank, Rebecca came forward and identified herself,” he said.

The couple had been aware of the media coverage about their case, but he was unsure whether that included pleas for them to come forward from their families.

Ms Michel’s father, Ross McAdie, told the Herald Sun that her family was “very, very relieved” they had been found safe.

“It’s been a long time,” he said.

“We haven’t spoken to her yet, but from a parent’s point of view you hope every minute of the day it was going to end. Thankfully we are there.”

Mr McAdie was due to fly from Darwin to Melbourne, with wife Patricia, last night or this morning.

“Now we can turn our attention to defending the allegations,” he said.

Police arrest missing Frankston couple

Jordan Oliver, Amelia Elliston, Andy Park, Adam Cooper

November 18, 2011

A Frankston couple on the run for three weeks have been arrested in Dimboola and charged with sex offences after one of the pair was spotted in a supermarket.

Police say Craig Stanley was identified and arrested at the supermarket in the western Victorian town at 10.40am.

His fiancee, Rebecca Michels, was arrested soon after at a bush campsite in the nearby Little Desert National Park.

At a media conference this afternoon, Detective Inspector Shayne Pannell from Victoria Police said the couple came willingly but looked thinner than usual.

‘‘We were tipped off by campers at the national park and they alerted local police, then we searched the area and that’s when we came across Craig in a local supermarket … I take it that they were aware they were wanted.”

Michels, 25, faced the first bail hearing on four charges – one count of an indecent act with a child under 16, two counts of having made or produced child pornography and one count of knowingly having possessed child pornography.

She did not apply for bail but Magistrate Richard Pithouse noted Michels had never been arrested before and told police to note that because of the nature of her charges she was at risk in the prison system.

Michels sat in the dock quietly with her head down during the bail hearing.

Stanley faced five charges, including one count of an indecent act with a child under 16, two counts of having made or produced child pornography and two counts of knowingly having possessed child pornography.

Stanley also made no application for bail and Mr Pithouse told police again to note that because of the nature of his charges he was at risk in the prison system.

Both were remanded in custody to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.

Stanley led officers to Michels, her lawyer Ben Archbold said.

The couple went missing last month following a raid on a house. Police said they executed search warrants on the couple’s Langwarrin home on October 27, the day of their disappearance.

Mr Archbold said he was extremely relieved his client had been arrested.

‘‘This is the first time I’ve been happy for one of my clients to be arrested because now I know she is safe and well,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously there was serious concerns for the welfare of both of them.

‘‘We were just hoping they didn’t do anything to themselves.

‘‘Because this is a unique situation, I’ve spoken to the parents and I’m being instructed by them. But I still have to speak to my client.

‘‘I’ve spoken to the father. The police have been fantastic, they let the family know as soon as the two of them were found,’’ he said.

‘‘He was in getting food in the supermarket. The police have then been called, they’ve come, they’ve arrested him and they’ve said ‘where is she’ and he’s led them to a camp in the national park.’’

The couple initially told friends they planned to go camping at Bendigo, before using a hire car to travel to Ballarat.

Stanley, 28, a private detective and former defence force recruit, arranged for the rented gold Nissan X-Trail to be taken back to Frankston by a car transport firm in Ross Creek.

Clothing, camping gear and a metal detector were inside the rental car when it was returned.

Police say the circumstances surrounding the case were particularly strange.

Earlier this month, The Age revealed that Stanley had a fascination with ghost hunting, scanning country Victoria in search of the paranormal.

Shortly after the couple went missing, family and friends set up a Facebook page, pleading for them to come home.

The page had more than 3000 members when it was shut down – about the time police revealed the pair were fugitives rather than missing persons.

‘‘They have been aware of the media coverage but I’m not sure about their knowledge about their family and how much contact they’ve had with the outside world,’’ Inspector Pannell said.

‘‘I’ve had my detectives contact both families and they are both relieved, like we are, that they’re well fed and alive.’’

Michels’ father, Ross McAdie, this morning told radio station 3AW that he was ‘‘completely ecstatic’’  his daughter had been found.

He said he was yet to speak to Ms Michels and thanked police for acting quickly at a ‘‘very trying time’’.

‘‘I’m assured by our solicitor that we should be able to speak to her today.’’

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‘Monster’ Phillip Turtur sexually abused girl as her family grieved each week

http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/article/15561021/paedophile-loses-sentence-appeal/

Paedophile loses sentence appeal

ABC December 5, 2012, 3:52 pm

A paedophile who abused two young girls throughout their childhoods has lost an appeal to have his lengthy jail sentence reduced.

Phillip Turtur, 64, is serving a 23-year jail sentence with a non-parole period of 15 years for several child sex crimes.

The sentencing judge described the crimes as grotesque and said the ‘indescribable horror’ the victims endured for years was something no child should have to go through.

South Australia’s Court of Criminal Appeal unanimously dismissed Turtur’s appeal against his sentence.

 

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/paedophile-can-challenge-23-year-sentence/story-fndo471r-1226454113392

Paedophile can challenge 23-year sentence

  • Chief Court Reporter Sean Fewster
  • AdelaideNow
  • August 20, 2012 1:05PM

ONE of the state’s worst paedophiles has won the right to challenge his 23-year jail term because a judge is concerned he will be “quite old” when paroled.

Supreme Court Justice David Peek this morning granted Phillip Turtur – who abused one of his victims every week for four years – permission to appeal his sentence.

Despite the objections of prosecutors, Justice Peek said the length of the sentence, and state law about paedophiles, made the case worthy of consideration by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

“(Turtur) is just about to turn 65, and will be 79 at the end of his non-parole period,” he said.

“Under legislation relating to this particular type of offending he will only be eligible for release, he will not be automatically considered.

“Without expressing any view as to the grounds of the appeal, I’m disposed to grant permission having regard to the fact this is a large sentence and the accused will be quite old at the time he is eligible for parole.”

Turtur, of Salisbury, pleaded guilty to one count of persistent sexual exploitation of a child, 12 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of indecent assault.

He repeatedly abused two girls, while in a position of trust, between 1982 and 1994.

The first victim was sexually abused every Sunday while her family visited her grandfather’s grave.

Turtur also held a butcher’s knife to her throat while another girl was locked in the laundry.

He threatened to harm the girl’s family if she exposed his perverted actions.

The second victim was abused by Turtur about three or four times a week for six years.

In one incident, he had sex with her on the bathroom floor moments after she attempted to commit suicide saying “this will comfort you”.

Today Dr Peter Salu, for Turtur, said his client’s sentence was manifestly excessive.

He said persons accused of historical sex offences should receive substantial sentencing discounts for pleading guilty.

That, he said, would encourage others to do the same and cut down on the number of trials.

“My client did not want to subject the victims to any more pain and suffering,” Dr Salu said.

“Despite having no memory of a lot of the facts, for reasons of remorse and contrition, he pleaded guilty.

“The sentencing judge should have given greater weight to this, but he did not.”

Karen Ingleton, prosecuting, said Turtur had received all the leniency he was due.

She said his final sentence included a 22 per cent discount for pleading guilty, and a further 18 per cent reduction on account of his age.

“There are simply some cases where a long sentence, a deterrent sentence, is warranted – and the offending in this matter is one of those circumstances,” she said.

“It is a long sentence, but this is one of those matters in which a long sentence was inevitable.”

Justice Peek said the appeal should go ahead.

“I agree a long sentence was inevitable, it’s just a question of precisely how long,” he said.

Turtur’s appeal will be heard later this year.

UPDATE 30/05/12 GREAT NEWS FOR VICTIMS

Paedophile Phillip Turtur jailed for ‘indescribable horror’

Court Reporter Hannah Silverman

May 29, 2012 11:00PM

SHE was sexually assaulted weekly, threatened with a knife and scared out of exposing years of abuse, but today Joanne is anything but the victim she was 30 years ago.

Now a brave survivor of child sex abuse, Joanne was relieved yesterday to watch her former uncle Phillip Turtur, one of the state’s worst paedophiles, sentenced in the District Court to 23 years’ jail.

With a smile Joanne, 37, who did not want her surname published, said justice had finally been served for the crimes Turtur, 64, of Salisbury, committed against her and another victim during the 1980s and 1990s.

“The pain and suffering is something that is still there, but I’m happy in my life now. It is just something that I’ll never forget,” she said.

Joanne and her husband of 4½ years are the brains behind Angry Anderson, The Flyers & Before The Aftermath: Benefit Concert. Proceeds from the one-night-only benefit at The Gov will go to Bravehearts for victims of child sexual abuse.

Related Coverage

For four years, from the age of seven, Joanne was sexually abused every Sunday while her family visited her grandfather’s grave.

During the period Joanne describes as a “reign of terror”, Turtur also held a  butcher’s knife to her  throat while another girl  was locked in the laundry.

Turtur previously pleaded guilty to 12 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, one count of indecent assault and one count of persistent sexual exploitation of a child.

In sentencing yesterday, Judge Geoffrey Muecke said Turtur would make threats to harm Joanne’s family after abusing her in order to keep his perverted secret.

Another girl, who cannot be identified, was later abused by Turtur about three or four times a week for six years.

In one incident Turtur had sex with her on the bathroom floor moments after she attempted to commit suicide in a desperate cry for help.

“You got some Band-Aids from the kitchen and tried to stop the bleeding,” Judge Muecke said yesterday.

“(Then you said) `this will comfort you’ and she knew immediately that you were about to rape her.”

Judge Muecke said the girl’s mother was undergoing cancer treatment and he used that to frighten his victim from “shocking” her mother to death with news of his deviant behaviour.

Turtur will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

 

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UPDATED: NOVEMBER 2014

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/25434436/serial-paedophiles-jail-appeal-fails/

Serial paedophile’s jail appeal fails

Tim Clarke

November 5, 2014, 10:14 am

Former Katanning hostel warden Dennis John McKenna has failed in his bid to appeal against his jail sentence for the sexual abuse of 17 boarders entrusted to his care.

McKenna had attempted to lodge an appeal against the nine-year jail term imposed for his final of three lots of convictions, claiming it was crushing.

But the WA Appeal Court today comprehensively threw out the application – saying McKenna’s offending meant he had forfeited the right to a useful life after his release.

“The total sentence the subject of this appeal reflects a carefully calibrated and moderated exercise of the sentencing discretion. There is no merit in the appellant’s claim that the total effective sentence infringes the first limb of the totality principle,” Justice McLure said.

“Even if, contrary to my view, the total sentence could be characterised as crushing, the appellant’s offending as a whole is of such seriousness in its nature, extent and effect that he must be regarded as having forfeited the right to an expectation of a useful life after release.”

The 69-year-old was sentenced in February last year to nine years jail for 34 sex offences committed between 1976 and 1988.

Judge Kevin Sleight ordered the sentence be served on top of a six-year and four-month jail term imposed in 2011 for 10 offences committed against six boys.

Judge Sleight also took into account a six-year and nine-month jail term imposed in 1991 for the sexual abuse of five boarders.

He said in total, the 69-year-old had been sentenced to 22 years jail for 63 offences against 28 boys at the State-run boarding facility.

As a result of the final sentence, McKenna will have served 13 years when he becomes eligible for parole in November 2024.

The appeal bid had outraged some of McKenna’s victims, who said the legal challenge demonstrated McKenna’s complete lack of remorse for the abuse he had inflicted.

“He is still in denial,” Todd Jefferis, who was molested by McKenna many times between 1989 and 1990, said.

“That guy has got absolutely no right to ever walk the streets . . . why would the community want a monster like that walking the streets.

 

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/24286338/new-charges-for-serial-paedophile/

New charges for serial paedophile

Sam Tomlin The West AustralianJune 20, 2014, 4:27 pm

Serial paedophile Dennis McKenna is facing fresh child abuse charges stemming from his time in charge of the Katanning Hostel.

McKenna was charged with two additional offences following what police said was a long-running and exhaustive investigation into the 69-year-old’s time as warden of the hostel between 1976 and 1988.

McKenna is serving nine years in prison for abusing 17 boarders at the hostel during that period.

He is due to appear in Katanning Magistrates Court on July 15.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-13/wa-paedophile-lodges-appeal-against-nine-yearjail-term/5451142

Notorious WA paedophile Dennis McKenna lodges appeal against nine-year jail term

Updated Wed 14 May 2014, 1:38pm AEST

A notorious West Australian paedophile has lodged an appeal against a jail term imposed on him more than a year ago for child sexual offences committed at a government-run hostel in the 1970s and 80s.

Dennis McKenna was sentenced to a further nine years’ jail in February last year after pleading guilty to 34 offences committed against boarders at the St Andrews hostel in Katanning.

McKenna was already in jail after being sentenced in 2011 to six years and four months for similar offences.

He was also jailed in 1991 for molesting boys.

McKenna was the warden at the hostel between 1975 and 1990 and used his position to sexually abuse 28 boys.

The sentencing judge said McKenna had committed a gross breach of trust, and manipulated people and situations for his own sexual gratification.

The nine-year sentence was made cumulative on that term, meaning McKenna’s earliest possible release date is in 2024.

McKenna lodged documents with the Supreme Court today in an attempt to have the term reduced.

The bid is well beyond the usual 21-day appeal period.

 

Victim ‘floored’ by McKenna’s bid for freedom

Former St Andrews pupil Darryl Stephens said the appeal was another example of McKenna’s contempt for his victims and the latest in a string of legal games.

“He’s done it all the way through – sacked lawyers and done this sort of thing all along,” Mr Stephens said.

“It is disappointing but it’s not surprising if you know what I mean, because he’s played these tricks all along.

“It’s probably another trick he’s slept on and thought, ‘I’ll have a go at that’.”

Abuse survivor Kim Daniels was also disappointed by McKenna’s bid.

“He wants his sentence reduced, none of us can get our sentence reduced,” he said.

“He’s full of games.”

Albany contractor and abuse survivor Todd Jefferis said other victims were also upset by McKenna’s bid.

“I’ve already spoken to a couple of them and they’re very upset about the whole situation. It’s not going to be nice for them,” he said.

“He’s [McKenna] going to try to get free and have a quality of life which none of the boys have had for a long time and some of them are still struggling to get that back. It’s ridiculous.

“I’ll be absolutely floored if he gets any time off this … if he gets time off on this appeal it’s an absolute travesty of justice, it already wasn’t heavy enough.

“He’s destroyed so many boys’ lives and he doesn’t have this right, in my opinion.”

 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/pedophile-dennis-mckenna-gets-extra-nine-years-will-serve-22-years/story-e6frg12c-1226580333632

Katanning hostel pedophile Dennis McKenna gets extra nine years jail

  • by: Angie Raphael
  • From: AAP
  • February 18, 2013 11:19AM

SERIAL pedophile Dennis McKenna has been sentenced to an additional nine years in jail over a further 34 charges of sexually abusing boys while he was the warden at a West Australian hostel.

McKenna, 68, is already serving a six-year prison term since July 2011 for molesting boys at St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning between 1975 and 1990, and was previously jailed in 1991 for similar offences.

He was sentenced in Perth’s District Court today to an additional nine years to be served cumulatively with his 2011 sentence.

It means McKenna has now been sentenced to 22 years and one month in prison for committing 63 offences against 28 victims.

The sentence came after McKenna pleaded guilty to a string of new charges including several counts of unlawful indecent dealings, carnal knowledge against the order of nature and gross indecency.

McKenna’s abuse included forcing boys to watch pornography with him and plying them with alcohol before sexually abusing them.

In sentencing, Judge Kevin Sleight said McKenna had committed a “gross breach of trust”.

McKenna’s lawyer Patti Chong previously read a statement to the court from McKenna to his victims, in which he said he regretted breaching their trust and asked for their forgiveness.

“I robbed the victims of their innocence, corrupted them, destroyed their lives, caused them and their families profound sorrow and committed acts which have had grave lifelong consequences for them and their families,” the statement read.

“I sincerely and truly apologise to all the victims of my abuse, their friends and families, and express my deep remorse and contrition for my conduct.”

Ms Chong reiterated McKenna’s remorse on Monday but Judge Sleight said it was “a long time coming”.

McKenna will be eligible for parole after serving 13 years and four months in prison from July 2011.

The case prompted an inquiry last year into whether authorities knew about the sexual abuse at the Katanning hostel.

The scope of the inquiry was later expanded to include St Christopher’s hostel at Northam, Hardie House at South Hedland and St Michael’s House at Merredin.

WA Premier Colin Barnett apologised to the victims and said they could apply for up to $45,000 in compensation.

 

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/pedophile-dennis-mckenna-admits-more-charges/story-fndo2j1f-1226502414703

Pedophile Dennis McKenna admits 34 more sex abuse charges

  • PerthNow
  • October 24, 2012 2:57PM

pedophile Dennis McKenna has admitted to more than 30 further child abuse charges while he was a warden at a Katanning hostel.

Appearing via video-link in Perth Magistrate’s Court, McKenna pleaded guilty to 34 child sex offences against boarders at the St Andrew’s Hostel.

Prosecutors dropped 35 additional charges against McKenna, who is already serving a jail term for child sex offences, this morning.

McKenna was warden of the State-run hostel between 1975 and 1990.

He will be sentenced in the District Court.

WA pedophile’s brother jailed for raping girl

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was sentenced in the West Australian District Court on Wednesday for one count of aggravated sexual penetration and two counts of aggravated indecent assault while he was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrews Hostel in the wheat-belt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991.

Dennis McKenna, 66, who is currently serving six years in jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 charges of sexually abusing six boys in his care aged 13 to 15.
Dennis McKenna was a warden at St Andrews from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into sex abuse at the Katanning Hostel after previously being jailed in 1991 for similar offences.
He was recently charged with another 66 offences relating to the sexual abuse of children in his care.

By Cortlan Bennett

From: AAP

May 09, 2012 3:01PM

THE brother of a convicted serial pedophile has been jailed for more than six years for raping a 15-year-old girl in his care at a state-run student hostel in Western Australia.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was sentenced in the West Australian District Court on Wednesday for one count of aggravated sexual penetration and two counts of aggravated indecent assault while he was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrews Hostel in the wheatbelt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991.

McKenna was sentenced to a total of six years and three months but will be eligible for parole after four years and three months.

He is the younger brother of Dennis McKenna, 66, who is currently serving six years in jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 charges of sexually abusing six boys in his care aged 13 to 15.

Dennis McKenna was a warden at St Andrews from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into sex abuse at the Katanning Hostel after previously being jailed in 1991 for similar offences.

He was recently charged with another 66 offences relating to the sexual abuse of children in his care.

During the sentencing of Neil McKenna on Wednesday, Judge Anthony Derrick said his actions were a “terrible breach of trust” with an “element of preparation and grooming”.

During the judge-alone trial, evidence was heard that McKenna had taken sexual advantage of three girls aged 13 to 16 in his care at the hostel – having sex with one of them in his bedroom while his wife was in hospital with their first child – but charges relating to two of the girls could not be proved.

Justice Derrick found that while there was clearly sexual activity between McKenna and those two girls, the charges of “defilement by a schoolmaster” could not be proven because he did not meet the legal definition of a schoolmaster.

“While I found beyond reasonable doubt that you engaged in sexual activity with (the other two girls) … the state could not satisfy certain elements to prove the charges,” the judge said to McKenna in sentencing.

Justice Derrick said that was the reason he could not accept defence lawyer Patti Chong’s submission that the proven charges in relation to the third girl were isolated events.

The judge said that in the case of the third girl, McKenna had driven her in a school bus to an isolated road at night, locked the doors, and raped her on the back seat.

The other two charges of aggravated indecent assault related to incidents at the hostel where McKenna had taken advantage of the girl to kiss and touch her in an inappropriate manner.

The judge said McKenna had not used violence towards the girl, but he did not have to as he was in a position of authority.

Nonetheless, he found that McKenna was a “good husband and father” and his wife and three daughters continued to stand by him throughout the trial and sentencing.

He said McKenna had been forced to sell the family home to pay for his defence, which would leave his family in economic hardship, but he had shown no remorse for his actions and continued to deny them.

Outside the court, Ms Chong said her client maintained his innocence and would appeal against his conviction.
The wife of one of Dennis McKenna’s victims, Tonia Brown, said she was not surprised that Neil McKenna had shown a “complete lack of remorse” as he continued to deny any wrongdoing.

She said the three girls he had had sex with, including the rape victim, would be satisfied with the sentence.

“It’s not a sentence worth damaging someone’s life for, but it’s much more than we expected, and I think the girls will get some sense of justice,” Mrs Brown said.

Katanning child abuser to be sentenced

Anne-Louise Brown

May 9, 2012 – 2:00AM

The younger brother of a Western Australian serial paedophile will today be sentenced for child sex offences.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was convicted in the WA District Court last month of three charges relating to the abuse of a girl when he worked at the now infamous St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning between 1986 and 1991.

McKenna’s older brother, Dennis McKenna, 66, who was warden of St Andrew’s from 1975 to 1990, is currently in jail for numerous offences against boys in his care and is the focus of an ongoing special inquiry into allegations there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the hostel.

Neil McKenna had been charged with 10 offences related to three girls aged 13-16, but he was acquitted of charges relating to two of the victims.

He was found guilty of one count of aggravated sexual assault and two of aggravated indecent assault against a victim who was aged 14 to 15 at the time.

A report into the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse at the Katanning hostel is due for release on May 31.

Neil Vincent McKenna found guilty of abusing girl in his care

  • From: AAP
  • April 04, 2012 10:51AM

THE brother of a convicted serial pedophile has himself been found guilty of sexually abusing a girl in his care.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was found guilty in the West Australian District Court on Wednesday of three charges relating to the abuse of a girl in his care when he was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrews Hostel in the WA wheatbelt town of Katanning.

He had pleaded not guilty to a total of 10 charges, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

He is the younger brother of Dennis McKenna, 66, who was a warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at St Andrews.

Dennis McKenna is serving six years in jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 charges of sexually abusing six boys in his care aged 13 to 15.

He had previously been jailed in 1991 for similar offences.

The judge-only trial before Justice Anthony Derrick heard from one of the alleged victims, now aged 39, that McKenna first had sex with her when she was 13 or 14 in his home, which was attached to the hostel where she was boarding and going to school.

Neil McKenna was found guilty after a judge-alone trial in front of Justice Anthony Derrick.

Justice Derrick said there was “an extreme likelihood if not inevitability” of a prison term.

Outside the court a former St Andrews hostel student said she was “absolutely disgusted” with McKenna.

“He’s a man; he’s breached his power of trust,” she said.

As McKenna’s wife and daughter left the court, supporters of the victims called out, “Shame, shame on you”.

The pair refused to comment to reporters on the verdict.

Outside the court, former St Andrews hostel student Jan Brown said she was “absolutely disgusted” with McKenna.

“He’s a man; he’s breached his power of trust,” she said.

As McKenna’s wife and daughter left the court, supporters of the victims called out, “Shame, shame on you”.

Paedophile’s brother ‘groomed girls’ at hostel

Aja Styles

March 27, 2012 – 10:23AM

The school master at a state-run hostel in Katanning who is the brother of a convicted pedophile groomed his female students to fulfill his sexual desires, a state prosecutor has argued.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, worked at St Andrew’s Hostel in the Wheatbelt town from 1986 to 1991, during which time he allegedly sexually abused three girls then aged 13 to 16.

Mr McKenna is on trial before a District Court judge without a jury after being charged with 10 offences, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

Mr McKenna is the brother of jailed serial paedophile Dennis McKenna, 66, who was warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of a continuing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the state-run facility.

‘He chose opportune places’

State prosecutor Mark Trowell, QC, yesterday claimed that the complaints against the younger Mr McKenna occurred exactly how they were described by the alleged victims because they happened at opportune places such as the cinema or the bus.

“The cinema is an ideal place because cinemas are dark and everybody is looking forward,” he argued.

He said a room next door to the cinema, known as the “red room”, may have been less discreet “but that depends if there was a door”.

“If there was a door you would expect it to be closed,” he said.

“…[If] complainants are to be believed it is assumed he was a risk taker and someone who was confident he could do this without being found out.”

He said another ideal situation to disguise his sexual activities was on the bus because it was essentially a “transportable room” with which he could take female students on rides to remote locations.

“These girls were groomed and he was able to commit these offences because he had known them over time,” Mr Trowell said. “Each one was young and naive.”

He said they were vulnerable and he had admitted during police interviews that they developed “crushes” on him as a father figure.

“[They had] become emotionally dependent upon him. Something he was very much aware of in his police record of interview,” Mr Trowell said.

“…He exploited that affection and naivety and took sexual advantage of them. He was the person in authority, not only to groom but to compel them to his sexual desires.”

He said the women were “overwhelmed” and one woman described feeling detached form her body during one incident on the school bus.

‘Girls were intimidated’

He said it was also made difficult for them to complain because when rumour reached other supervisors the girls were made to face middle aged men and it was an “intimidating situation” that they shrank from.

He also argued that there was no evidence of collaboration or collusion by the women who made the complaints.

He said only one of them received $13,000 through a state government Redress scheme and she dismissed it as insufficient compensation for “what happened to her”.

She also denied having any knowledge of how to chase criminal compensation or “celebrity (compensation) lawyer John Hammond” as suggested by Mr McKenna’s lawyer Patti Chong.

‘Flaws in the women’s stories’

Ms Chong yesterday argued that the events could not have occurred as the women described.

She took particular objection to one woman’s testimony, who described that she had taken a shower and slept in Mr McKenna’s marital bed before sneaking back to the hostel dormitory at 5am.

She said the only way for opening the dormitory door was breaking open a glass box and using the key and even if she had left it unlocked there was “no way” she could have gotten through the double glass doors.

“There were doors after doors after doors,” Ms Chong said. “And that’s what you expect in a dormitory house so that kids won’t get up to pranks such as sneaking out at night.”

She said that Mr McKenna’s father Doug McKenna testified that he had come to stay with his son at the time in question because it was when the Mckennas were having their first child and it was memorable because it was around April Fool’s Day.

“Never did he see girls in the house,” she argued.

She said it would also have been impossible for the then-girl’s absence not to be noted by a supervisor since they carried out head counts day and night.

She said that the woman also testified that most of the offending occurred when she was doing ironing at their house in 1986 but they only moved into the larger family home in 1987.

Mr McKenna’s wife Wendy, who also worked at the hostel, yesterday testified that she never saw her husband acting inappropriately with boarders.

When questioned over her observation skills since she claimed that she was unaware of Dennis McKenna’s systematic and long-standing sexual abuse of boys at the hostel, she replied she was observant but knew nothing about the allegation.

She said the first she learned of it was when Dennis McKenna was charged in 1991.

That same year, the board running the hostel held a meeting at which sexual abuse allegations were raised against Neil McKenna.

He resigned that afternoon and he and his wife left the hostel that night.

“We left because it was a shock,” Mrs McKenna said, agreeing her husband had told her he had been “set up” by the girls involved in the accusations.

When asked by Mr Trowell if she had heard any whispers about anything inappropriate her husband had been doing at the hostel, Mrs McKenna said she had not.

District Court judge Anthony Derrick has reserved his decision, which is expected to be handed down next week.

– with AAP

McKenna’s wife says she saw nothing suspicious

Updated March 26, 2012 21:29:24

The wife of a man on trial for sex offences at a Katanning hostel says she never saw her husband doing anything inappropriate with female boarders.

Neil McKenna is on trial in the Perth district court for a string of sexual assault charges against teenage girls between 1986 and 1991 while he was working at the St Andrews hostel.

His wife testified that she is an observant person and never saw or heard anything that would make her think her husband was assaulting girls.

Under cross-examination the prosecutor, Mark Trowell QC, put to Mrs McKenna that if she was so observant why had she not noticed her brother-in-law Dennis McKenna was performing widespread and systematic abuse of boarders.

Dennis McKenna is currently in jail for sexually assaulting boys at the hostel.

Mrs McKenna told the court her husband resigned the same day allegations of sexual assault were put to him in 1991.

He has repeatedly denied the charges.

In a recording of a police interview played to the court last week, McKenna said girls developed crushes on him and he favoured some students he felt sorry for but never inappropriately touched them.

He said sometimes he would jokingly hug boarders at the hostel.

One woman has testified McKenna would molest her whenever he could.

She told the court dates and times were hard to remember but events were not.

A second woman has also told the court that McKenna would indecently touch her, saying it occurred so regularly she could not remember exactly how many times it happened.

She said when she was about 14 she used to go to his house to do ironing and he would kiss and grope her.

She said they later escalated into regularly having sex, including on one occasion when his wife was in hospital having their first child.

Mr Trowell told the court Neil McKenna exploited the affection and dependency of the boarders and took advantage of them.

In her closing address, defence lawyer Patti Chong said the alleged victims’ memories were hazy and unreliable, and the state had failed to prove any of the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

The trial is being heard by Judge Anthony Derrick SC who is sitting without a jury.

His verdict is expected to be handed down next week.

Neil McKenna denies Katanning hostel sex abuse of girls

  • by: Staff Writers
  • From: AAP
  • March 23, 2012 4:42PM

A MAN on trial for sexually abusing teenage girls under his care at a hostel has told a court he never had sex with any girls but some may have had “crushes” on him and other staff members.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrew’s Hostel in the WA wheatbelt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991, when he allegedly sexually abused three girls in his care, then aged 13 to 16.

McKenna is being tried by a District Court judge without a jury after being charged with 10 counts, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

The court today was shown a video of McKenna being interviewed by detectives in October 2010.

In the video, McKenna said his memory was not very sharp and he had forgot half the students at the hostel, but he did remember bits and pieces that stood out in his mind.

McKenna denied ever having had sex with the girls, kissing them or fondling their breasts.

“I never touched any girl there,” he said.

Regarding one victim, McKenna said that during a camping trip in Albany he was walking with a female student and may have “accidentally” touched her on the shoulder to guide her through a gate.

“I never touched her except for on the shoulder,” he said.

Regarding a second alleged victim, McKenna said he’d once sat with her at the back of a cinema, but there was “no way” he’d ever touched her or forced her to touch him, as she alleges.

He said he may have touched her with his elbow but never behaved inappropriately with her.

Asked if he ever touched a girl while she ironed at his home and then had sex with her in his bed, McKenna denied the allegation but said he remembered looking for something in his bedroom wardrobe when the girl came in with some ironing.

The detectives also asked McKenna if he’d ever had sex with a girl on a bus or station wagon. He denied the suggestion.

He said he took some students for driving lessons and on bus trips for excursions, but never had sex with any teenage girls.

McKenna said it was normal to have a “joke and a laugh” with some of the students whom he became close to because the boarders were far away from their families and he felt “sorry” for them.

He said some boarders developed “crushes” and followed staff around and some saw supervisors as a “father figure”.

“I just can’t believe they’re saying all these things,” he said.

McKenna is the brother of jailed serial pedophile Dennis McKenna, 66, who was a warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the state-run facility.

Former hostel warden Cornelius Burro also testified on Friday via video link.

McKenna had been filling in as warden after his brother Dennis left the hostel when Mr Burro came in as his permanent replacement in 1991.

Mr Burro said distressed students had come forward with allegations against Neil McKenna in October 1991.

He said McKenna was confronted by the board about the allegations and, after asking for a five-minute break, he returned with a resignation letter.

Mr Burro said McKenna cited what had happened to his brother as one of the reasons for his resignation.

“He got very upset saying that, you know, he’d been set up,” Mr Burro said.

The trial before Judge Anthony Derrick continues.

Raped girl suddenly ‘not welcome’, court told

  • by: Cortlan Bennett
  • From: AAP
  • March 21, 2012 4:52PM

A 13-year-old girl was sexually abused for two years by a male supervisor at a state-run hostel before being abruptly told she was no longer welcome there, a Perth court has heard.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrew’s Hostel in the West Australian wheatbelt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991, when he allegedly sexually abused three girls in his care, then aged 13 to 16.

McKenna is the brother of jailed serial pedophile Dennis McKenna, 66, who was a warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the government-run facility.

Neil McKenna is being tried by a District Court judge without a jury after being charged with 10 counts, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

Today, the court heard from a witness who claimed McKenna often fondled her in the back row of a cinema where she worked as a volunteer usher, as well as on a school bus after other students had been dropped off.

Usually, she would sit next to McKenna after the movie started and place her hand on his crotch while he fondled her breasts and genitals, she testified.

On one occasion, the pair left during the movie and went to an adjacent music room where McKenna allegedly raped her with his fingers.

“He put his hand up my skirt, and he put his finger in my vagina,” the now 36-year-old witness said via video link.

“I was 13 or 14 at the time.”

The witness said McKenna would often ask her to go on bus drives with him and would molest her “whenever we were alone on the bus – at any time of the day”.

On another occasion, McKenna drove the witness home to Bremer Bay, about 150km south of Katanning, after she’d had her appendix removed.

Her parents were not home when they arrived and McKenna proceeded to molest her again, she testified.

“We were kissing – tongue kissing – and Neil would feel my breasts and rub my vagina,” she told the court.

After two years of attending Katanning Senior High School and boarding at St Andrews, which were in the same compound, the witness said Dennis McKenna sent a letter to her parents at the end of 1989 informing them she “was not welcome back”.

She said she didn’t know the reason.

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Patti Chong, the witness said she couldn’t remember who instigated the sexual activity and couldn’t remember exact dates.

She said she had never received any redress from the WA government over the sex abuse she had suffered at the govertnment-run hostel and had not colluded with other witnesses.

Earlier, the court had heard from a witness, now 39, who said McKenna didn’t wear a condom and she was not on the pill when he allegedly raped her repeatedly over the course of four years.

She said McKenna’s wife, Wendy McKenna, who was also a supervisor at the hostel, was “like a mother to me”.

She testified that she and McKenna had sex in his bedroom while his wife was in hospital after giving birth to their first child.

The trial before Judge Anthony Derrick continues.

Schoolgirl ‘was raped anywhere and often’

Kate Campbell, The West Australian Updated March 21, 2012, 3:00 am

A woman has told how the brother of serial paedophile Dennis McKenna sexually abused her “anywhere the opportunity arose” over her four years as a teenage boarder at a now-infamous Katanning hostel.

The woman, now 39, testified in the District Court that Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, molested and raped her regularly, including at his home and in a spa when his wife was in hospital after the birth of their first child, in a school bus and in the hostel cinema.

Neil McKenna is fighting 10 charges of sexually abusing three teenage girls between 1986 and 1991 at a judge-alone trial.

The girls were boarding at State-run St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning when he was a senior supervisor and his brother was warden.

Prosecutor Mark Trowell said some abuse of one victim was after Neil McKenna became acting warden for a year in 1991 after his brother was jailed for sex offences against boys.

Dennis McKenna was jailed in 1991 for molesting five boys and later for six years for abusing six other boys.

The woman who testified yesterday said Neil McKenna’s abuse began as kissing, groping and fondling but soon escalated to sex.

Mr Trowell said the woman felt compelled to submit to him.

The woman said she was about 13 or 14 when Neil McKenna first raped her at his home on hostel grounds, where she often ironed for him and his wife.

She said at 16 he molested her in the hostel spa and raped her at his home when his wife was in hospital.

“(It happened) anywhere the opportunity arose,” she said. “It just seemed to happen all the time.”

The woman rejected suggestions by defence lawyer Patti Chong that the abuse “simply did not happen”.

Ms Chong put it to her that other people would have been around or Mr McKenna would have been supervising the boys’ dormitory at the time of some of the alleged incidents.

Mr Trowell said the alleged abuse involving the other two girls was at the hostel cinema, on a camping trip and when Mr McKenna took one girl to her parents’ home in Bremer Bay after her appendix was removed.

He said that in 1991, Mr McKenna raped an alleged victim on a school bus and then had her lie on the back seat as he drove back to the hostel so no one would see her.

Sex abuse claims hit McKenna’s brother

Aja Styles

March 20, 2012 – 11:50AM

The younger brother of convicted paedophile Dennis McKenna has stood trial accused of sexually assaulting three teenage girls in his care at the Katanning hostels where both brothers were in supervisory roles in the 1980s and ’90s.

Neil Vincent McKenna has denied 10 charges ranging from breast fondling to sexual intercourse with three girls aged under 17 while in his care as a school master at the St Andrew’s hostel from 1986-1991.

He is on a judge-only trial in the Perth District Court before Judge Anthony Derrick.

Mr McKenna was 27 or 28 in 1986 and married when he was accused of molesting and forcing himself upon a girl as young as 13 who did domestic chores in his accommodation that was adjacent to the boarding rooms, the court heard.

State prosecutor Mark Trowell said she had been ironing one day, when he came up behind her and touched her breast and started kissing her neck.

Mr Trowell said Mr McKenna led her to the bedroom where he bent her over and had sex with her.

“It didn’t go on for very long,” he said.

He said the girl felt a stinging because it was the first time she had ever had sex.

“She was intimidated by the accused and felt compelled to submit to him,” he said.

He said there was a subsequent “spa incident” in April 1989 when she was 16 and Mr McKenna’s wife Wendy was in hospital after the child was born.

Mr Trowell said she again submitted to sexual acts in Mr McKenna’s spa with him before going inside the home to have sex.

A second student who was 13 in 1988 and whose family were from Bremer Bay came to the hostel in Year Eight.

“She remembers Dennis McKenna being a warden, and his brother and his wife being supervisors,” Mr Trowell said.

He said Neil McKenna was sexually intimate with her a number of times, including on two occasions while she worked as an usher at the cinema that the brothers ran.

Mr Trowell said she would sit next to Mr McKenna and rub his genitals and there were four sexual acts that took place over the two occasions.

He said there was also a “music room incident” when she was alone in the dark with the accused in the music room and he tongue kissed her and put his hand up her skirt and touched her.

Mr Trowell said Mr McKenna also drove her to her parent’s house in Bremer Bay and began kissing her, and fondled her breasts and genitals in her parent’s home.

By the end of Year Nine she was not welcomed back and was given “no reason” despite being a good student, Mr Trowell today the court.

Towards the end of 1990, after his older brother had been charged with child sexual offences, Mr McKenna escalated his flirtation towards a then-15-year-old girl who worked as an usher at the cinema.

He also forced her to have sex with him, Mr Trowell said.

On a weekend camp to Albany, Mr McKenna kissed her on the mouth while they were walking alone on the beach and she later returned and cried in her cabin about the incident, Mr Trowell said.

He said Mr McKenna also pulled her onto his lap and had sex with her in the school bus.

He drove her to a remote location and had sex with her which caused her bleeding and she was “frightened”, Mr Trowell said.

She was told to lie back on the seats so that other students wouldn’t see her before she managed to get to a toilet, the court heard.

She tried never to be alone with him again but early in 1991 there was a blackout at the hostel and the accused touched her on the breast in the dark and asked her to come for a bus ride but she refused, Mr Trowell said.

Mr McKenna’s defence lawyer Patti Chong did not make an opening address except to ask that references to Dennis McKenna be refrained.

“Because what Dennis did has got nothing to do with my client is alleged to have done,” she told the judge.

Judge Derrick reassured her that it only provided some of the narrative.

The trial continues.

Brother replaced sex offender as hostel warden

ABC March 2, 2012, 2:27 pm

An inquiry investigating child sex abuse at a boarding hostel in country Western Australia has been told the brother of a convicted child abuser should not have been allowed to take over as warden.

The inquiry led by former Supreme Court Judge Peter Blaxell is investigating who knew about the long term serial abuse of boarders by the then warden Dennis McKenna.

McKenna ran the hostel from 1975 to 1990, until he was charged and convicted of abusing boys at the St Andrew’s hostel in Katanning in the 70s and 80s.

His brother Neil was working as a supervisor at the hostel and took over when Dennis McKenna was sent to jail.

Neil McKenna will face a judge-alone trial this month, over accusations that he abused girls while working at the hostel.

Parent Ken Reddington told the inquiry today it was inappropriate to replace Dennis with his brother.

The inquiry continues.

Brother accused of sex abuse

Amanda Banks and Gary Adshead, The West Australian November 19, 2011, 7:28 am

The brother of a convicted serial paedophile, whose crimes have triggered an inquiry into sex abuse at a State-run boarding hostel, will stand trial next month charged with molesting two students at the same government facility.

Details of the case emerged in the District Court on Thursday when defence lawyer Patti Chong unsuccessfully applied to adjourn the December trial of Neil Vincent McKenna.

Ms Chong argued that the case should be adjourned because of publicity over Dennis John McKenna’s convictions and a pending inquiry into the St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning.

Neil McKenna, who was not in court because he was working on a mine site, submitted through his lawyer copies of articles published in The West Australian and extracts from speeches in State Parliament Hansard in an affidavit.

Ms Chong said the publicity began with an article published in The West Australian on November 5 and also included a story published on November 7.

She told the court that the articles were with respect to Neil McKenna’s older brother Dennis McKenna, a former warden at St Andrew’s Hostel who was recently sentenced to six years jail for his abuse of children aged between 13 and 16 at the hostel.

In 1991, Dennis McKenna was convicted of sexual offences against five victims.

Neil McKenna is alleged to have sexually abused two complainants between 1986 and 1991 when he was employed as a supervisor and senior supervisor at the hostel.

Addressing the court less than half an hour before Premier Colin Barnett announced the details of an inquiry headed by retired Supreme Court judge Peter Blaxell, Ms Chong said the form of the inquiry was not yet known.

She argued that if an inquiry was announced, it would greatly prejudice Neil McKenna.

The State opposed the adjournment of the trial, submitting that the publicity had been directed at the convictions against the accused man’s brother and the jury could be adequately directed to guard against any prejudice.

Refusing Ms Chong’s application, District Court Chief Judge Peter Martino said it was important that none of the publicity had concerned Neil McKenna and there had been no reference to him.

He said the trial judge would be likely to instruct the jury to disregard anything that they had read or heard outside the court.

Judge Martino said the jury could be expected to do their duty and comply with the direction, which would still mean Neil McKenna would receive a fair trial.

He said the fact the Government had announced it was considering an inquiry was, at that stage, no basis for adjourning the trial.

 

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Pedophile likely to offend again

Kate Lemmon | 14th May 2012

AN IPSWICH pedophile will pose a real risk of re offending once he is released from jail for stalking a teenage girl, Ipswich District Court heard.

Gordon Anthony Allwood, 42, met a 15-year-old girl and her father in Gatton last January when they arrived to offer assistance to flood victims.

Allwood spent four months stalking the teenager via indecent text messages, following her to work and watching her when she was out.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Maleckas told the court the girl and her family were scared and distressed by Allwood’s “grooming” behaviour.

Allwood pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking in March and the case was adjourned until Friday for his defence to obtain a psychiatric report.

The report declared Allwood refused to accept what he did was wrong.

Judge Deborah Richards said Allwood still denied responsibility for his actions and did not understand the significance of his behaviour.

She said Allwood would pose a real risk of further offending once released.

Allwood was sentenced to two years jail. With time already spent in custody, he will be eligible to apply for parole on July 14.

Allwood also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with his reporting obligations as a registered sex offender and was sentenced to six months prison, to be served concurrently with the two-year head sentence.

In March the court heard Allwood told his victim he had an 18-year-old friend named David and pretended to be him in some of the texts.

He also asked for naked photos of her and offered to send her naked photos of himself.

Ms Maleckas noted Allwood had almost identical offences in his criminal history, which included convictions for aggravated sexual assault and indecent treatment of boys.

 

Child’s stalker struck at shelter

Kate Lemmon | 31st March 2012 2:00 AM

AN IPSWICH pedophile stalked a 15-year-old girl for months after becoming obsessed with her at a flood recovery centre.

Gordon Anthony Allwood, 42, first saw the girl in Gatton last January when she went to offer assistance to flood victims with her father.

The girl and her dad left their contact details with relief staff, which Allwood accessed without permission.

Ipswich District Court was told Allwood started texting and following the girl, sending her lewd messages.

From January 12 until May 14, Allwood followed the girl to her workplace and watched her when she was out.

He requested naked photos of the girl and offered to send naked photos of himself.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Maleckas said the girl and her family were scared, distressed and uncomfortable with Allwood’s “grooming” behaviour.

“He persisted in (his) unwanted conduct which scared her and her family over a four-month period,” Ms Maleckas said.

Allwood told the girl he had an 18-year-old friend named David and pretended to be him in some of the texts. A reportable sex offender, Allwood has almost identical offences in his criminal history, including convictions for aggravated sexual assault and indecent treatment of boys.

In March 2009 Allwood was convicted of pretending to be a 14-year-old boy when texting the 13-year-old daughter of a friend.

He sent her photos of himself naked and asked her to send photos of herself naked.

The court heard Allwood was serving a suspended prison sentence at the time of stalking the girl, so had spent the past 320 days in custody. Ms Maleckas called for two years prison as punishment, on top of the 18 months he was already serving.

Allwood pleaded guilty on Thursday to unlawful stalking.

The sentence, before Judge Deborah Richards, was adjourned until May 11 so the defence could obtain a psychiatric report.

 

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“RESPECTED” former Queensland Health employee has avoided jail despite pleading guilty to repeatedly having sex with alcohol or drug-addled boys aged 14 and 15.

IN COURT: Pandela Carmel Salmon

Lawyers for former QH indigenous health care worker Pandela Carmel Salmon claim the acts were committed when she was deeply depressed at work – from alleged bullying – and suffering rare side effects of prescription medication.

Prosecutor Andrew Lossberg told the Brisbane District Court Salmon lured the boys into sex after alcohol and drug-fuelled parties at her Kallangur home, north of Brisbane, more than four years ago.

Mr Lossberg said that the morning after a night of sex Salmon told one boy: “This could be our little secret. Whenever you want some (more sex) you can come here and get it.”

Barrister James Benjamin, for Salmon, said his client’s elevated libido and outrageous flirting was the result of a drug-induced “mania” or “hypo-mania” caused by medication to treat depression.

Salmon, 46, was yesterday given 2½ years’ probation, with no criminal conviction recorded against her, after pleading guilty to four counts of unlawful carnal knowledge with a child under 16 between April 4 and 25, 2009.

The court was told the non-recording of a conviction would make it easier for Salmon to regain employment after QH terminated her on “erroneously” learning she had earlier pleaded guilty to the offences.

Mr Lossberg said Salmon, then aged 42, had sex with the first boy, then aged 15½, after a Friday night party where alcohol and marijuana was readily available.

He said the teenage boy had gone to sleep on a lounge, but Salmon woke him for sex.

Mr Lossberg said the 14-year-old boy was invited to Salmon’s bed under similar circumstances.

He said the pair had sex while another boy slept in the bed next to them, and moved to the backyard to continue having sex so as not to wake him.

Mr Benjamin said Salmon’s behaviour changed dramatically once she began taking mood-altering prescription drugs to treat her depression.

The court was told even Salmon’s daughter noted her mother “turned into a rebellious 18-year-old who acted like a tart” while taking the drugs.

Judge John McGill, in sentencing, said he accepted the offences were committed as a result of “rare and unexpected” side effects of the prescription medication she had taken.

 

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UPDATE:  MAY 2016

Larkins has been released after winning his appeal against a 12 month jail term for failing to comply with reporting obligations of the child protection register & for breaching a good behaviour bond.

 

UPDATE:  DECEMBER 2015

Larkins has been sent back to jail for failing to tell authorities he was using two social media applications and for breaching a good behaviour bond. He was sentenced to 12 months jail with a non-parole period of nine months in Raymond Terrace Local Court.

 

UPDATE:  NOVEMBER 2015

Larkins has been charged with breaching the child protection register. Police allegedly found Instagram & Wechat accounts after a search of his home computer in July. He remains on bail & will return to court later this month.

 

UPDATE:   29/04/2014

Today Steven Larkins walked free from Long Bay Jail after serving just 15 months.

 

UPDATE:   APRIL 2014

Due to be released from prison in late April 2014.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1270515/larkins-jailed-for-child-porn-and-fraud/?cs=12

Larkins jailed for child porn and fraud

By STEPHEN RYAN

Jan. 31, 2013, 1:02 p.m.

THE FORMER chief executive of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services has been jailed for child pornography and fraud offences.

Steven Larkins was sentenced to 22 months’ jail by a local court magistrate last year but he appealed that sentence.

A district court judge confirmed the 22-month sentence but reduced the non-parole period from 19 months to 15 months.

Judge Peter Berman said the child pornography offences involving boys aged 10 to 14 created a market for such pornography and that other children would be harmed to feed that demand.

Larkins began serving his sentence Thursday, which means he will be eligible for parole in April next year.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/scouts-ignored-complaints-about-paedophile-20121016-27p4z.html

Scouts ignored complaints about paedophile

October 17, 2012

Rory Callinan

THE Scout movement is facing serious questions over its handling of child abuse allegations after former Scout leaders in the Hunter alleged officials in the movement turned a blind eye to the activities of a paedophile who went on to work with vulnerable children in an Aboriginal foster care agency.

Steven ”Skip” Larkins, the former chief executive of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services agency, was convicted this year of fraud, possessing child pornography and abusing two boy Scouts in the 1990s.

He was exposed as a paedophile only after being caught last year with child pornography at the Newcastle-based agency where he had been given parental responsibility for 19 vulnerable Aboriginal children, oversaw $5 million in taxpayer funding and acted as an adviser to the NSW government on child protection issues.

The pornography investigation uncovered Scout abuse complaints from the 1990s to which Larkins this year pleaded guilty. But a Herald investigation has found in the early to mid-1990s scouting authorities were alerted to Larkins’s suspected paedophile behaviour.

Despite the reports, the scouting officials took years to ”officially suspend him”, and in the interim allowed him to attend scouting events involving children and undertake administrative duties.

Larkins went on to become a figure in NSW Aboriginal child protection work, where he had parental responsibility for vulnerable children.

In the US, the Boy Scouts of America are in damage control after the Los Angeles Times revealed a pattern of inaction and cover-up involving thousands of complaints of child abuse from the 1970s to the 1990s.

The Larkins case raises questions about whether there was a similar lack of action in Australia. This week, former Stockton Scout leaders Raylene and Armand Hoitink told how they tried to blow the whistle on Larkins in the mid-1990s but were fobbed off by then senior officials.

The couple said they and a close relative had raised a number of allegations with senior scouting officials including that Larkins was:

Caught cavorting naked in the shower with boys at a Scout camp;

Had a Scout lie on his chest while he and the boy were alone in a tent put up in a scout hall;

Approached children at a swimming pool offering them lollies and trying to coerce them back to his house.

”He’s the reason we are no longer in Scouts,” Mr Hoitink said last week. Mrs Hoitink said her late brother Toby, who was a Scout leader, had complained after finding a boy Scout lying on Larkins’s chest in the mid-1990s.

She said Toby had reported this to the Regional Commissioner, John Grothen, and the District Commissioner, Bill Metcalf, who did not stop Larkins from having access to Scouts. Grothen has since passed away. Mr Metcalf has vigorously rejected any claims he did not act, saying he repeatedly tried to get Larkins kicked out of the scouts.

Mrs Hoitink said she believed another leader knew of the shower incident and had been told of the tent incident.

Mr Hoitink said that in 1997 he rang police after being tipped off about the pool incident. But he said he was admonished by Metcalf for not contacting Scouts first and letting them handle it.

Mr Hoitink said after this incident, Scouts promised to remove Larkins from any contact with children. But, he said, in late 1997 or early 1998 he and his wife saw Larkins with a group of Scouts on a trip to Seaworld – something that Scouts justified because Larkins had ”been promised a trip”.

In 1998, police investigated an allegation Larkins abused a boy Scout but the case was dropped after the victim declined to go to court, sources told the Herald. Larkins this year pleaded guilty to this offence.

Scouts Australia NSW has refused to go into detail about such sexual abuse allegations but did confirm it was aware of a ”concern” raised with Scouts in 1998.

A Scouts spokeswoman said the organisation contacted NSW Police about the matter and continued to liaise with police through the years up to the recent court case. However, Scouts have confirmed they officially suspended Larkins only in 2000 after another complainant came forward alleging abuse – an incident that was not prosecuted at the time but which Larkins was convicted of.

A Scouts Australia NSW spokeswoman said last week Larkins had been ”removed” from ”face-to-face with youth members” from April 1997 following a complaint.

But she confirmed Larkins had continued to do administration tasks for the region and ”may have attended supervised regional events” up until his suspension in 2000.

She said Larkins had not been active in Scouts for more than a decade. Scouts takes responsibility for the safety and care of young people extremely seriously, she said.

NSW Police would encourage anyone with information about child sex offenders to contact police.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-04/police-say-no-evidence-of-foster-care-paedophile-ring/4295416

Police say no evidence of foster care paedophile ring

Posted Thu Oct 4, 2012 12:25pm AEST

Police say there is no evidence of a paedophile ring within part of the Hunter Valley’s foster care sector, after ruling out a criminal link between two convicted paedophiles.

The ABC first raised the possibility of a link between Steven Andrew Larkins and the now deceased paedophile Robert Holland more than a year ago.

Larkins is the former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS) while Holland, who died in 2009, was a foster carer who had children referred to him by HACS.

Larkins is currently appealing a 19 month jail sentence for child pornography and indecent assault offences.

Before Holland died he was found guilty of abusing eight children dating back 40 years.

Charges relating to another 11 children were taken into account when he was convicted.

Police say it is unclear how Holland had possession of a HACS uniform during his foster caring days.

The ABC has been told Larkins knew Holland, but disliked him.

Police investigated and say they could not substantiate any criminal links between the pair.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/national/bungle-allowed-paedophile-to-take-care-of-children-20120928-26qoa.html

Bungle allowed paedophile to take care of children

September 29, 2012

Rory Callinan, Louise Hall

A PAEDOPHILE was given parental responsibility for 19 vulnerable Aboriginal children and his organisation handed $5 million in taxpayer funding by the same government department which had classified him as a risk to juveniles years earlier.

The chief executive of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, Steven Andrew Larkins, was convicted last month of child sexual assault and fraud charges after he was caught with child pornography.

But the Department of Family and Community Services had known that Larkins was a risk to children as he was suspected of sexually abusing a boy in the 1990s when he was a scout leader.

Larkins applied for a ”working with children check” with the department’s screening unit in 2003. The allegations meant Larkins was deemed to be ”medium risk” and was not cleared to work unsupervised with children.

Yet he was still able to obtain the powerful position of parental responsibility for 19 children whose care had been given to HACS by the department over nine years.

Parental responsibility gave Larkins complete control over the children, including allowing him to take them into his home alone.

Larkins was also able to play a prominent role in child protection, including presiding over HACS being given a $5 million boost in taxpayer funding in 2007 to expand the number of children it had care of.

This week the department admitted it failed to follow standard procedure and tell the board or any other managers at the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS) of its findings.

Instead, Larkins alone was informed of his classification, which allowed him to forge a document showing he had obtained clearance to work with unsupervised with children, and which was placed in his personnel file.

A spokeswoman for the department said: ”Standard procedure was to send correspondence on the working with children check to the employer and, where the chief executive officer was the applicant, to the board. This was not done in this case. Community Services acknowledges and regrets this error.”

The department also admitted the practice of awarding parental responsibility to an executive of a non-government organisations ”was not usual practice” and was banned following the Wood special commission of inquiry into the child protection system in 2009.

The new chief executive of HACS, Terry Chenery, said Larkins had had access to the children alone and outside of work as a result of being awarded parental responsibility.

Mr Chenery said there had been no ”substantiated evidence” to say that Larkins had inappropriately dealt with children under HACS care.

Larkins was exposed last year by a chance incident when a fellow employee found a USB stick containing dozens of child abuse images belonging to Larkins in one of the organisation’s cars.

A police search of his home found cartoons depicting child pornography on his mobile phone, tablet and computer.

An investigation was launched, and Larkins was charged with the aggravated indecent assault of an 11-year-old boy in 1992 and a 12-year-old boy in 1997.

Last month Larkins, 46, was convicted and sentenced to at least nine months in jail for four counts of possessing child abuse material. He was given a further 12-month minimum sentence for forging the working with children documents to obtain his $86,000-a-year position and for lying in a statutory declaration, amounting to a total non-parole period of 19 months. The sentence has been stayed pending an appeal, although Larkins is not contesting the three-year good behaviour bond handed down for the assaults on the two boys. The appeal will be mentioned in the Newcastle District Court on November 15.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-02/child-protection-checks-strengthened-in-wake-of-larkins-convict/4171324

Child protection checks strengthened in wake of Larkins conviction

Posted August 02, 2012 08:09:18

The New South Wales Government has talked up new child protection protocols in the wake of a Newcastle childrens’ advocate being jailed for child sex and pornography offences.

46-year-old Steven Andrew Larkins will spend at least 19 months in jail for indecently assaulting two boys and collecting scores of pornographic images.

The former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services advised State and Federal Governments on child protection issues.

The Department of Community Services or DoCS knew about a complaint made against him in 1997.

In the years that followed, Larkins falsified Working With Children checks so he could keep his job.

The Minister for Community Services Pru Goward has told the ABC she has been closely monitoring the case.

In a statement she says work is being done to strengthen Working With Children checks and a new system that is simpler and safer is expected to start later this year.

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello says he is also pleased the Larkins matter has been finalised.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-31/child-sex-jail/4167044/?site=indigenous&topic=latest

Child protection advocate jailed for abusing children

Updated July 31, 2012 15:48:48

A Newcastle man who advised Governments on child protection has today been jailed for a range of child sex offences.

The former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services Steven Andrew Larkins, pleaded guilty to nine offences including producing and possessing child pornography fraud and the aggravated indecent assault of two boys aged 11 and 12.

The 46 year old has worked in advisory roles on child protection issues for both the NSW and Federal Governments.

Larkins was so revered in New South Wales he was on expert panel for the Government’s ‘Keep them Safe’ reforms, but Newcastle Local Court heard the former Scout leader was secretly attracted to young boys.

The court heard the Department of Community Services was aware of a complaint by one of his victims in 1997.

Larkins has since admitted to falsifying working with children checks to keep his job.

Today he showed little emotion while being sentenced to a minimum 19 months jail.

Magistrate Ian Cheetham acknowledged he had shown some remorse but doubled that he was no longer attracted to young boys.

Larkins will be eligible for parole in February 2014.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-19/magistrate-adjourns-sentencing-childrens27-advocate/4141516/?site=newcastle

Magistrate adjourns sentencing children’s advocate

Updated July 19, 2012 14:29:06

A Newcastle magistrate says he wants to see pornographic images of children belonging to a prominent children’s advocate before sentencing him for a range of offences.

The former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Childrens Services Steven Andrew Larkins has pleaded guilty to nine offences.

They include producing and possessing child pornography, fraud and the aggravated indecent assault of two boys.

The 46-year-old has worked in advisory roles on child protection issues for the New South Wales and Federal Governments.

Today he sat calmly in Newcastle Local Court as written sentencing submissions were handed to Magistrate Ian Cheetham.

The court heard Larkins had a significant position of authority and used fraudulent documents that allowed him to continue to have access to vulnerable children.

Magistrate Cheetham told the court he wants to view a sample of the pornographic material depicting children before sentencing Larkins on July 31.

 

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/steven-larkins-admits-to-possessing-child-pornography/2538926.aspx

Steven Larkins admits to possessing child pornography

DAN PROUDMAN

30 Apr, 2012 12:01 PM

THE former head of an Aboriginal children’s services organisation has admitted to possessing child pornography.

Steven Andrew Larkins, 45, of Dunbar Street, Stockton, has also pleaded guilty this morning to forging a document to show he had passed a ‘‘working with children check’’ despite being deemed a ‘‘medium risk’’ by authorities in 2003.

Larkins faced Newcastle Local Court this morning and pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing child pornography relating to 30 videos and 27 images found on his iPhone, iPad, home computer and a thumb drive.

Prosecutors withdrew three further child pornography charges.

Larkins was the chief executive officer of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services last year when another employee discovered a thumb drive with images on it and reported it to police.

A subsequent investigation discovered further images.

Larkins also today admitted to forging the ‘‘working with children check’’ and placing it in his personal file despite knowing that he had been classed as a ‘‘medium risk’’ by authorities.

He also pleaded guilty to using that forgery to obtain financial advantage, being the $86,000 job looking after the service which places troubled Aboriginal children into care.

Larkins has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated indecent assault, relating to two alleged incidents involving young boys in 1993 and 1997.

A hearing has been set down for June 4.

He has not been required to enter a plea into eight fraud-related charges.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-08/aboriginal-child-protection-advocate-pleads-not-guilty-to-child/3818222/?site=sydney

Aboriginal advocate pleads not guilty to child sex

Updated February 08, 2012 14:00:23

One of Australia’s leading Aboriginal child protection advocates has pleaded not guilty to child sex offences allegedly committed in the Hunter Valley.

Stockton man Steven Andrew Larkins, 45, is the former chief executive of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services.

He has also worked in advisory roles on child protection issues for the State and Federal Governments.

Larkins was stood down as CEO of the Hunter organisation last year, after being charged with 20 offences.

They include aggravated indecent assault, possessing child pornography and forgery.

Larkins faced Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday and entered not guilty pleas to two counts of aggravated indecent assault against children under the age of 16.

The court was told discussions are continuing in relation to the remaining charges and there could be further progress ahead of a four-day hearing scheduled for June.

The court heard the prosecution could potentially call 12 witnesses to give evidence at that hearing.

The matter will be mentioned again in March.

Larkins remains free on bail, but with strict conditions.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-09/more-charges-against-aboriginal-worker/3655648/?site=newcastle

Former aboriginal child worker faces more charges

Updated November 09, 2011 18:04:09

An additional child sex charge has been laid against the former CEO of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s services.

45 year old Stockton man Steven Andrew Larkins has appeared in Newcastle local court on charges including child sex, possessing child pornography and forgery.

Larkins was already facing a charge of aggravated indecent assault against an 11 year old boy and today the same charge was laid in relation to another alleged victim aged under 16 for an offence committed in 1992.

Another fraud charge was also laid in relation to his former employment.

Larkins is now facing a total of total of 20 charges and the court was told today the investigation may result in further charges in coming weeks involving other alleged victims.

Larkins was allowed continuing bail and his care returns to court on December the 7th.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-02/aboriginal-worker-sex-charges-docs/2867696/?site=newcastle

Sex charges against child worker raises the ire of DOCS

Updated September 02, 2011 07:20:23

The Department of Community Services says it is deeply concerned about child pornography and sex charges laid against an Aboriginal children’s advocate its had dealings with in Newcastle.

Former Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services Chief Executive Officer Steven Andrew Larkins is on strict bail, after being charged with 18 offences, including producing child pornography, forgery and the alleged aggravated indecent assault of an 11 year old boy.

Police documents tendered in court, as part of his bail application on Wednesday (AEST) say he was deemed medium risk by the Department of Community Services in 2003.

The documents also say he did not have clearance to work unsupervised with children, but did not disclose the restrictions.

Larkins has served in roles advising the State Government on child protection issues.

The Department says it is deeply concerned about the case and takes the charges laid against Larkins very seriously.

It says it is fully cooperating with the police.

The Minister, Pru Goward says she is intently focussed on the case and is keenly awaiting the results of investigations.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-01/aboriginal-worker-more-charges/2865100/?site=newcastle

Allegations child advocate continued working despite ban

Updated September 01, 2011 07:18:46

In documents tendered to court as part of a bail application, police allege a Hunter Aboriginal children’s’ advocate hid a risk assessment that deemed him unfit to work with children without supervision.

Former Hunter Aboriginal children’s Services Chief Executive Officer Steven Andrew Larkins is charged with 18 offences, including producing child pornography, forgery and the alleged aggravated indecent assault of a child under 16 in 1997.

In documents tendered to Newcastle Local Court police claim Larkins was charged with the indecent assault in 1998, but the matter never proceeded to trial.

It is alleged through the court documents that the Department of Community Services revoked Larkins clearance to work unsupervised with children in 2003, but police claim Larkins didn’t disclose the restrictions.

It is also alleged Larkins forged a Department of Community Services risk assessment document to say that he could work with children unsupervised.

He is on strict conditional bail and is due back in court next month.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/former-aboriginal-services-chief-deemed-risk-to-children-in-2003/2277174.aspx

Former Aboriginal services chief deemed ‘risk’ to children in 2003

BY STEPHEN RYAN

01 Sep, 2011 04:00 AM

THE former chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services was deemed a “medium risk” to children in 2003, but continued to work with minors and deceive a number of organisations by forging documents, Newcastle Local Court heard yesterday.

Steven Andrew Larkins, 45, was accused of molesting an 11-year-old boy while he was a scout master with the 2nd Newcastle Scout Group in 1997, a police statement said.

Mr Larkins denied the allegations, but he was served with an apprehended violence order and told that he would receive a summons for a charge of aggravated indecent assault. The case never proceeded to trial.

When mandatory child protection checks came into effect in 2001, Mr Larkins submitted his application with the Department of Community Services’ screening unit in 2003, the statement said.

A background check on Mr Larkins received a “hit” and he was told he was a “medium risk” and was not cleared to work unsupervised with children.

Mr Larkins never disclosed this to the board or other managers at Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, but he made two attempts to have his classification reviewed, the statement said.

In those applications he allegedly made fraudulent claims such as “That on no occasion have I been approached by the NSW Police to be charged or to appear in court on any charge of any kind” and “I am not the person with this record”.

He is also accused of creating a document that stated he had clearance to work with children and placed it with his personnel file, the statement said.

Mr Larkins also prepared two statutory declarations that stated he had never appeared “in court in relation to any charge made on me” and another stating that he had no contact with children in his role as chief executive officer.

Police alleged that both claims were false.

Mr Larkins was arrested yesterday and charged with 17 offences in addition to charges of possessing child pornography that he has been on bail for since April.

Police have subsequently found 64 child pornography images on computers and other devices that were seized from Mr Larkins’ Mayfield home, a police statement said.

Mr Larkins did not enter pleas yesterday. Magistrate Mark Buscombe granted him strict bail and adjourned the case for two weeks.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-31/aboriginal-childrens27-services-advocate-steve-larkins-charged/2864496/?site=newcastle

Aboriginal Children’s advocate granted strict bail

Updated August 31, 2011 17:31:14

A high profile Aboriginal children’s advocate has been granted strict conditional bail in Newcastle, after being charged with child pornography, child sex and fraud offences.

Police re-arrested former Hunter Aboriginal Childrens’ Services CEO Steve Larkins this morning, charging him with 17 offences.

The 45 year old was already facing one count of producing and disseminating child pornography.

In granting him bail Newcastle Local Court Magistrate Mark Buscombe said Larkins must report to police daily and must not contact his former work colleagues or anyone under 18.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/former-aboriginal-services-leader-back-in-court-on-child-pornography-and-sex-charges/2276758.aspx

Former Aboriginal services leader back in court on child pornography and sex charges

DAN PROUDMAN

31 Aug, 2011 01:57 PM

A FORMER leader in Aboriginal childrens’ services is due back in court today on fresh charges relating to child pornography and one child sex assault count.

Steve Larkins, 45, who was the chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS) before being charged with possessing child pornography in April, was arrested by Newcastle detectives this morning.

He has been charged with six counts of possessing or disseminating child pornography, five counts of intentionally making misleading statements, two counts of intentionally making a false statutory declaration and one count each of aggravated indecent assault of a child aged under 16, dishonestly obtaining a benefit by deception and making a false document.

He is due to face Newcastle Local Court this afternoon.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/03/3205906.htm?site=newcastle

DoCS suspends referrals after child porn charges

Posted May 3, 2011 06:43:00

The Department of Community Services has suspended referrals to the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Service, after its CEO was charged child porn offences.

44-year-old Steve Andrew Larkins has been stood down as the CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services, after police seized scores of child pornography images.

The Department of Community Services says currently it is not making any new referrals to the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s service.

It has also stressed it is not involved in recruiting employees for the service.

Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services has been applauded for its work over two decades and seen as a leader in the sector.

But DoCS will not comment on revelations the service had referred children to Toronto foster carer Robert Holland, who in 2009 was found guilty of abusing eight children, dating back 40 years.

There is no suggestion Larkins had any involvement in those referrals.

Larkins has also been removed from the advisory pool of the State Government’s Child Protection Advisory Group.

Larkins served on an expert panel for the State Government’s ‘Keep them Safe’ initiative, stemming from a Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in 2007.

He has also been replaced as Chair of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/child-porn-found-on-lost-hard-drive/2146427.aspx

Child porn ‘found on lost hard drive’

BY STEPHEN RYAN

28 Apr, 2011 12:00 AM

A WITNESS who found a portable hard drive in a Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services vehicle discovered the child pornography that led to the organisation’s chief executive officer being charged last week, court documents revealed.

Steven Andrew Larkins’s bail conditions were altered in Newcastle Local Court yesterday after the Department of Community Services (DOCS) told police that Mr Larkins may still have contact with children.

Mr Larkins, 44, formerly of Mayfield now of Stockton, did not enter a plea to possessing child pornography.

He was granted strict bail last week, but that bail was altered yesterday to ensure that he has no unsupervised contact with any children including those who may have been under Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services care.

A document tendered to the court stated that police and DOCS “hold deep concerns that Mr Larkins may still have contact with these children”.

Mr Larkins told a witness that he’d misplaced a portable hard drive and was looking for it about a week before the witness found a device in one of the organisation’s vehicles, a police statement said.

When the employee inserted the drive into a computer to identify its owner, they allegedly found Mr Larkins’s resume and other files as well as videos and images with names such as “2 15 old boys have sex all night”.

The witness alerted a manager and then police.

Fifty-one video files were found on the hard drive with police rating the material at seven out of 10 on a scale used to classify child pornography.

A rating of 10 is in the worst category.

The case was adjourned to June.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/tougher-bail-conditions-for-steven-larkins/2145781.aspx

Tougher bail conditions for Steven Larkins

27 Apr, 2011 11:50 AM

The chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services has had his bail conditions altered this morning to further restrict his contact with minors.

Steven Andrew Larkins, 44, was charged last week with possessing child pornography.

He was granted bail, but those conditions were altered in Newcastle Local Court this morning to ensure that he has no unsupervised contact with any children.

Mr Larkins did not enter a plea and his case was adjourned.

 

http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/child-welfare-chief-charged-over-porn-images/2140666.aspx

Child welfare chief charged over porn images

BY DAN PROUDMAN CHIEF POLICE REPORTER

21 Apr, 2011 04:00 AM

A nationally recognised leader in indigenous children’s services, who has been responsible for placing hundreds of troubled youngsters in care across the Hunter, has been stood down after being charged with possessing child pornography.

Steve Larkins, the chief executive officer of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services (HACS), was arrested at the organisation’s Tighes Hill headquarters on Tuesday afternoon after it was raided by police.

It is alleged police found images and videos on a computer drive of children performing sex acts, and the 44-year-old was subsequently charged with one count of producing, disseminating or possessing child abuse material.

Newcastle City detectives also seized “additional computer-related devices” from Larkins’s Mayfield home and sent them away for testing by specialist police in Sydney.

They will wait for results on full forensic examinations of computer drives before deciding if other charges will be laid.

A Department of Family and Community Services spokeswoman said the charges were “a shock to the department and we take them very seriously”.

HACS is a non-government service that the department finances, and the department had been “informed by the services’ board that the employee has been stood down pending the police investigation”, the spokeswoman said.

The department had also “informed the relevant oversight agencies, including the Commission for Children and Young People, the NSW Ombudsman and the Children’s Guardian, who accredit Out of Home Care organisations”.

“We want to emphasise that the allegations involve one individual in the organisation and the board of management are taking appropriate action in relation to the staff member,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

“Late today the Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward, sought (through the department) further police action on this matter.”

HACS provides foster care and support for indigenous families, out-of-home care to Aboriginal children, and recruitment training and support to Aboriginal foster carers.

A NSW government press release, issued when the new HACS offices were opened last November by then Community Services Minister Linda Burney and Minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay, quoted Larkins as saying HACS was the oldest Aboriginal children’s service in the state and had been operating for 25 years.

It had 21 staff and had 53 children in its care.

Larkins has been chairman of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, a teacher and social worker and has also been chairman of the Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management.

He was taken into custody at his workplace and transported to Newcastle police station on Tuesday before being charged with the single count.

He was placed on strict conditional bail to appear in Newcastle Local Court on May 10.

 

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