Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

Antony Brown

Posted: October 24, 2016 by Serendipity in Tasmania
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Man who downloaded 37,000 child porn images says he did not view them, asks not to be jailed

Posted 30 Aug 2016, 6:31am

The lawyer for a Hobart man who downloaded 37,000 child pornography images has called for him to be spared a prison term.

Antony Brown, formerly of Brighton, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Hobart to accessing and possessing the images between December 2012 and March 2015.

His lawyer Chris Gunson SC told the court the 68-year-old kept the hard drive in a cupboard for two and a half years and did not view the images.

Mr Gunson said his client was not part of a child exploitation group, and had been searching for adult pornography when he found the material online.

“Mr Brown was not just searching for child pornography … it came about by accident and then it was curiosity,” he said.

“He was not – for want of a better phrase – part of a paedophile ring … [and] it’s not suggested he took any steps to groom children of any age or was part of any chat rooms.”

Mr Gunson said it would be an imposition for the court to impose a prison term on his client, who was a UK citizen and would likely be forced to return there after he was sentenced.

“The consequences for someone who moved to Australia at 13, who’s lived almost his whole life as an Australian … to return to the United Kingdom will be an extraordinarily disruptive punishment to himself and his family,” he said.

“It will require Mr Brown to effectively start his life again.”

But Justice Michael Brett said although there were few images, some of them were of the worst category, involving the abuse of at least one infant, and it was in part irrelevant that Brown had not gone on to view the abuse.

“I would regard possession of those matters as a significantly aggravating factor,” Justice Brett said.

“It makes possession and access of that one item a serious matter.”

Mr Gunson told the court it was “a real sign of remorse” that Brown had taken voluntary steps to relocate back to the UK and avoid the cost of official deportation to taxpayers.

But Prosecutor Jackie Hartnett said moving to the other side of the world would allow Brown to “save face” and should not be viewed as a mitigating factor.

“When you start afresh in the UK, you’re not the person found with child exploitation material, you’re the new man on the block,” she said.

Ms Hartnett said if Brown’s home had been broken into and the hard drive stolen, there was no protection against the images entering the broader market and leading to further exploitation.

He will be sentenced at a date to be set.





Man admits to Crown Street Mall rape


Nov. 5, 2014, 10:08 p.m.

A Queensland man has confessed to raping a woman in Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall 13 years ago.

Port Kembla Local Court heard Benjamin Scott Boyd was living in the Illawarra in 2001 when he violently raped the woman in the grounds of St Andrews Presbyterian Church in the early hours of July 20.

Boyd was not linked to the crime and wasn’t charged until August 2004, a few months after his arrest on unrelated sexual assault matters in Orange.

He was granted bail but failed to turn up to Wollongong court in November to face the rape charge, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police were told he had fled to the United Kingdom, with documents revealing he had left the country in September – a month after the rape charge was laid.

The case was unresolved for almost a decade until NSW Police received a phone call from officers in Queensland in August this year saying they had arrested Boyd on the outstanding warrant.

In Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday, Boyd entered a plea of guilty to one charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

A draft set of facts tendered during the proceedings claims the female victim, then aged 34 years, was sitting in the mall around 3.45am when she noticed the then 18-year-old Boyd speaking with a man.

When the conversation ended, Boyd approached her, asked for directions, and tried to chat her up.

The woman brushed off his advances and walked away.

Boyd followed her and continued to ask her questions of an intimate nature.

As the pair passed the laneway leading to the church grounds, Boyd grabbed the woman by the wrists.

She struggled to break free, but was unable to do so.

Boyd then indecently assaulted the woman twice before dragging her by the feet along the passageway and raping her.

The woman later told police Boyd had said to her ‘‘this won’t take long’’, then afterwards, said ‘‘you don’t mess with the 777’’ as he walked away.

Boyd was remanded in custody to appear in the district court for sentencing later this month.

Child porn sting: Bulli man avoids jail


01 Apr, 2011 04:00 AM

Offences committed by a former English teacher caught up in an international investigation into child porn were at the lower end of the seriousness scale, a Wollongong magistrate said yesterday.

Christopher Michael Johnson (pictured) of Bulli was given a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to charges of using the internet to access child pornography and possessing child abuse material.

The 62-year-old was arrested in October last year after a long-running investigation into an internet paedophile ring in which he allegedly used the name Ding Dong.

His solicitor, Paul Paine, said police only found one image on his computer and it dated back to 2005.

He said the child abuse material related to letters and jottings he had written about his attraction to young boys, dated to the 1990s and were for personal use.

“There is no allegation he disseminated them,” Mr Paine said.

He said Johnson was aware his desires and fantasies went against society’s norms, but there was no suggestion he acted on them.

Mr Paine said Johnson suffered from mental health issues but was trying to address that with treatment and medication.

The court was earlier told Johnson had worked as a teacher in the United Kingdom before he moved to Australia 25 years ago.

Mr Paine said all he could say on that was that Johnson had taught English.

Magistrate Ian Guy said although the offences were at the lower end of the scale they could not be described as trivial.

He said the one image related to a boy aged between eight and 10 standing naked next to a pool.

Mr Guy said the letters described as journal entries relating to Johnson’s desires were offensive and disgusting, but there was no suggestion they were a reflection of what he had done to young people or that he had intentions to carry out his desires.

He said while Johnson had admitted to having a relationship with a 12-year-old boy in the UK in the ’70s, that had not been subject to a charge.

Mr Guy said Johnson had no record in Australia for child sex offences.

He stipulated the suspended sentence involve probation and parole supervision and attendance in the Sexual Offenders Treatment Program.

He also placed Johnson on a separate three-year good behaviour bond.


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Butch Heffernan, pictured in 1998 in Warrnambool

Sex predator in jail: Tennis coach preyed on young players

Oct. 13, 2008, 10:42 a.m.

FORMER Warrnambool tennis coach Barry `Butch’ Heffernan has been jailed for five-and-a-half years in the United Kingdom for sexually abusing young players.Heffernan, 47, molested the teenage girls “week in, week out,” using their dreams of stardom as a means of control, St Albans Crown Court heard.Heffernan, who was head coach at Warrnambool indoor tennis centre from 1996 to 2000, set up a tennis school in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, seven years ago.Described as having a “hands-on” approach to coaching, Heffernan was in fact a “controlling, grooming and predatory” man who took advantage of girls in his trust.His abuse came to an end when he admitted a series of charges involving two young women earlier this year. Police are now appealing for any other former students who were abused by him to come forward.Jane Bickerstaff, for the prosecution, said Heffernan routinely pressed himself up against one girl on the tennis court telling her: “I can’t wait until you’re legal.”He later turned his attention to a second girl, touching her improperly and eventually luring her to a flat where he performed a series of sex acts on her, she said. “He was able to get away with what he did because he was coaching them and they wanted to become better tennis players and achieve their dreams and ambitions,” Ms Bickerstaff told the court. “They put up with the abuse because they thought their dreams would be smashed if they did not.” Judge Stephen Warner, in sentencing, told Heffernan he had brought dishonour on the game with his “manipulative” behaviour. “You used your undoubted talents to commit these offences and you brought the game you served well for many years into disrepute,” he said. Heffernan earlier pleaded guilty to six sexual assaults against one girl and two indecent assaults and two sexual assaults on another. Heffernan, who grew up in Wangaratta, was well known in Warrnambool and in 1996 played continuous tennis for 48 hours to raise money for South Western Community Care. – DAILY TELEGRAPH

Tennis coach to the stars jailed after indecently assaulting young girls

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:55 PM on 10th October 2008

A tennis coach who sexually assaulted two promising girl players has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Barry ‘Butch’ Heffernan, who claims to have taught legends such as Martina Navratilova and Bjorn Borg, made crude comments to the 14-year-olds and showered them with gifts.

The twice-married Australian then started touching them on the courts at the £10,000-a-year Down Under tennis academy he ran near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, and took one of them back his flat to carry out sex acts on her.

The girls allowed the abuse to continue for years because they feared their dreams of becoming tennis stars would be shattered if they reported him, St Albans Crown Court heard.

One girl later developed psychological problems, including anorexia, anxiety and depression, the court was told.

It wasn’t until the end of 2007 that his secret came out and he was arrested.

The silver haired coach sat head bowed in the dock as his crimes against the girls were outlined to Judge Stephen Warner.

After the case the police officer who investigated Heffernan said inquiries had led officers to Australia to interview previous victims and further victims were interviewed by FBI agents in America.

Detective Constable Duncan Prior, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: ‘We believe there may be other females out there who may have been victims in the past and I would urge those girls and women to come forward and they will be dealt with sensitively and in the strictest confidence.’

Prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff said the girls had gone to Heffernan for lessons when they were around 14 and were promising young players.

Heffernan, 47, who has a conviction for deception in Australia, admitted ten offences of indecent assault and sexual activity with a child.

Judge Warner described him as ‘ controlling and predatory’.


Miss Bickerstaff said the defendant had run a tennis club in Hemel Hempstead, known as The Down Under Tennis Academy, with his wife Angela since July 2003.

He also gave lessons to children from the area and began coaching one 14 year old girl on a regular basis.

‘She says he was very hands on and it was this hands on approach that led to the offences.

‘He would place his hands on her and stand behind her and when he pulled her back, he would push his erect penis through his tracksuit into her bottom’ said Miss Bickerstaff.

She went on ‘The girl said it happened for the next two years week in and week out.’  The court heard that Heffernan would also hug the girl as he stood in front of her, again pushing himself into her tummy.

The prosecutor said he also began making ‘completely innappropriate comments’ to her. They included him telling her she had a ‘nice arse.’  On another occasion, I can’t wait until you are legal, I can’t wait until you are sixteen.’  The court heard he began brushing past her breasts and would comment ‘Keep them bouncing.’  Miss Bickerstaff said Heffernan also showered the girl with gifts, including sunglasses, rackets and a tennis bag.

As the abuse continued, said the prosecutor, the girl began exhibiting psychological problems when she was 15, which included anorexia, anxiety and depression.

She said there were other problems in the girl’s life, but it was clear that what was happening to her at the hands of Heffernan was contributing to her problems.

The court heard when the girl was 16 she eventually found the courage to stand up to Heffernan and told him to stop what he was doing.

Miss Bickerstaff said as the abuse stopped on the first girl, Heffernan turned his attentions to another 14 year old girl who was coming to him for lessons.

On one occasion, he put his hands up her top and touched her breasts.

A few days later he did the same again and it became a regular feature whenever she came to him for lessons.

The court heard in 2005 he took the girl on a trip to France where he indecently touched her while they were sitting in a car together.

As the girl turned 15, Heffernan began taking her to his flat, where he would get her to remove her trousers and underwear before carrying out sex acts on her.

Miss Bickerstaff said ‘Clearly in both cases it’s the crown’s case that the defendant abused the position of trust he was in in relation to both girls. They were both promising tennis players.

‘He was able to get away with what he did for so long because they wanted to be better players and achieve their ambitions.’  Miss Bickerstaff said that both feared that if they said anything he would stop coaching them and their ‘dreams would be shattered.’  The court heard the second girl told her mother about the abuse in the Autum of 2005 and the police were called in but, because the youngster ‘clammed up,’ the matter was not proceeded with.

It wasn’t until 2007 that she made her complaint again and this time spoke to the police.


He was arrested last September and then, weeks later, the first victim came forward.

Miss Bickerstaff said the defendant was a man of good character in this country but between 1979 and 1999 in Australia, he had been convicted of matters of dishonesty and deception.

Defending, Tom Kark said, having grown up in Australia he had gone to the USA on a tennis scholarship where he had studied international business management.

His passion had always been for tennis and in 1983 he qualified as a professional tennis coach.

Mr Kark said working in America Heffernan had coached a number of players who had gone on to become household names.

In 2001 he had arrived in the UK and after raising £20,000 for a charity tennis event, which ended up in the Guiness Book of Records, he took over the Down Under Tennis Club in 2003.

Mr Kark asked Judge Warner to accept that his client was ‘verbally abusive to everyone’ and it was his style.

The barrister said Heffernan now realised that, with his conviction, he would never be able to coach children again.

The court was told the coach is now ‘genuinely ashamed’ for what he did and realises he has brought the coaching of tennis into disrepute.

Mr Kark said Heffernan’s wife Angela was standing by him.

Passing sentence, Judge Warner told Heffernan ‘You were in a position of trust as a tennis coach and used that opportunity to commit these offences against these girls. You were trusted by them, you were trusted by their parents.’  He added ‘It’s clear you were attracted to girls of this age and there is an element of grooming displayed here.’  The judge said the offences concerning the second girl had been the more serious and represented an escalation in his offending.

‘You controlled her by using her ambitions as a means of exercising that control.’  Referring to the pre-sentence report that had been prepared, the judge said that his behaviour had been described as ‘controlling, grooming and predatory.’  In addition to the five and a half year jail sentence, the judge disqualified him from working from children indefinitely and said his name must now go on the sexual offenders register.

The judge also made a sexual offences prevention order to run for seven years.

Charged coach says … I’m not a rapist


March 19, 2008, 9:52 p.m.

FORMER Warrnambool tennis coach Barry `Butch’ Heffernan will stand trial on rape and sexual assault allegations in October this year.At England’s St Albans Crown Court last week Barry William Heffernan, 46, known as `Butch’, denied two offences of rape and six offences alleging he had sexual activity with a teenage girl.The offences are alleged to have happened during a two-year period starting when the girl was 14 years old.Judge Michael Baker, QC, set the trial date for October 6.Mr Heffernan, who lives in Wiltshire in the UK and is on bail, resigned as director of the Down Under Tennis Club, which it is now under new management, called The Langley Tennis Club.He had run the Down Under Tennis Club in Hemel Hempstead. Mr Heffernan was head coach at the Warrnambool Indoor Tennis Centre from 1996 to 2000 and has claimed to coach legends such as Martina Navratilova and Bjorn Borg. Mr Heffernan was well known in the Warrnambool community and in 1996 played continuous tennis for 48 hours to raise money for South Western Community Care.


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Terrible crimes of child porn ring trio


14 Apr, 2012 04:00 AM

A JUDGE forced to detail sexual crimes of a ‘‘very terrible nature’’ by a former Hunter couple against their young children said yesterday he would have named them if he were able.

The couple were ‘‘fortunate’’ their names would never be made public because it would identify their children, a son, 12, and a daughter, 11, Judge Roy Ellis told Gosford District Court.

‘‘If I could have permitted the publication of these two people’s names, I would have, and it is only to protect the two children that the [couple] were fortunate enough to avoid publication,’’ he said.

But he rejected a suppression application by the couple’s accomplice, Bruce William Ford, 44, of Umina, who was sentenced to 21 years’ jail, with a minimum term of 15 years, for his part in an international child pornography network.

After recounting an abbreviated version of a 22-page statement of crimes committed against the children at a Central Coast location over more than six months in 2010, for the third time in a week as the three were sentenced, Judge Ellis yesterday indicated the cases had taken their toll.

‘‘After sentencing three of these offenders it is more and more difficult not to use inflammatory words,’’ he said. ‘‘I think the less I say about it, the better.

‘‘These are extremely serious and disgusting acts against children.

‘‘This offender, via the friendship formed with the parents, regularly and seriously sexually abused their two young children, but not only that, very actively incited another deviate in another country to commit other disgusting acts against young children.’’

Ford, who was jailed in 2001 for less serious child sex matters, incited a man in Britain to have sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter, 4, and stepson, 10.

Judge Ellis declined to read the full statement of facts in court yesterday, and noted they were filed and part of the public record.

‘‘Although why anyone would want to read it, I don’t know,’’ he said.

He reserved particular criticism for the former Hunter man after sentencing him to 21 years’ jail, with a minimum term of 15 years last week.

‘‘The man’s the father and he let all this happen,’’ Judge Ellis said.

The last words Ford heard as he was led from the court were by the children’s aunt, who had earlier run from the court as some of the crimes were being described.

‘‘You won’t touch another child, you sick, mental freak,’’ she said.

21 years jail for involvement in international paedophile network

Updated April 13, 2012 17:47:07

A New South Wales man involved in an international paedophile network has been jailed for a maximum 21 years.

Bruce Ford was arrested in 2010, along with a 31-year-old woman and her 51-year-old husband who have already received lengthy jail terms for sexually abusing their own children.

Gosford District Court heard the trio dominated an international network of parents who carried out depraved sex acts on the children, often streaming them live on the internet.

Ford, from Umina Beach on the Central Coast, will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

The Commander of the state’s Sex Crime Squad says a lengthy jail term reflects the seriousness of Ford’s actions.

Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec has welcomed the sentence.

“It’s a pleasing result for a long slog investigation that commenced nearly two years ago,” he says.

“And it certainly represents the seriousness that both the courts and the community see this crime.

“It’s a very serious crime when a young child is abused.

“Whether it’s in Australia or any part of the world, it’s a serious crime.”

Mother jailed over child porn, sex abuse

Posted April 12, 2012 19:32:33

A woman has been jailed for the systematic sexual abuse of her own children, including broadcasting live pictures of them to an international internet paedophile ring.

The 31-year-old was sentenced to a maximum 18 years in jail with a non-parole period of 13 years.

She, along with her 51-year-old husband and another man, was arrested in November 2010 and admitted to a series of charges relating to the sustained sexual abuse of the couple’s son and daughter, aged 12 and 11.

The trio dominated an international network of parents who carried out depraved sex acts on their children, often streaming them live on the internet.

Gosford District Court heard how the woman encouraged other parents within the ring to abuse their own children.

Judge Roy Ellis said this showed a casual attitude towards her children’s abuse and showed “an unfathomable level of depravity” which was “impossible to grasp”.

The judge told the court the mother was sexually abused as a child by her own family members and has since expressed a wish to be punished for the sake of her children.

He said she was groomed by her husband but was an active and willing participant to the abuse and has scarred her children for life.

Karen Lindley, spokeswoman for child advocacy group Bravehearts, says there are lessons to be learned from the case.

“[The woman] herself was a victim of sustained prolonged child sexual assault and it’s history repeating itself,” she said.

“We must break the cycle.”

The woman’s husband was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years behind bars over similar charges last week, and another man is due to be sentenced tomorrow.

The children remain under the care of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

Hunter man jailed on child sex counts


06 Apr, 2012 04:00 AM

THEY were the last words heard in court yesterday by a man who had just been jailed until at least 2025 for committing and filming depraved sexual crimes against his own two children.

‘‘You’re gonna die in there you sick bastard,’’ said his former sister-in-law, the children’s aunt, as the former Hunter man, 51, was led away.

‘‘I needed to say it,’’ she said outside Gosford District Court after the first of three sentencings in an international child pornography case linked to crimes in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany and the US.

The children’s mother and another man will be sentenced next week after pleading guilty to multiple child sex crimes.

People in court for unrelated matters were visibly upset as Judge Roy Ellis read an abbreviated description of sexual crimes against the children: a boy, 12, and girl, 11, by their parents and another man at a Central Coast location in 2010.

The children, now living in the Hunter Region, were left to grow up in a situation ‘‘worse than orphans’’ after ‘‘losing’’ their parents when they were sexually assaulted by them, and then ‘‘losing’’ them again when both were arrested in late 2010 and charged with multiple child sex and child pornography offences, Judge Ellis said.

The boy was filmed while shackled, gagged and humiliated; threatened with a whip if he did not commit sexual acts; tied up and blindfolded; fed Viagra, and made to commit degrading heterosexual and homosexual acts with the three adults, Judge Ellis said.

The girl was forced to commit sexual acts with her father and the other man and the crimes distributed to members of the child pornography network overseas.

‘‘Not satisfied with committing these perversions on his children, the offender then filmed the incidents and streamed them to others,’’ Judge Ellis said.

The acts represented an ‘‘unfathomable level of depravity’’ by a man who not only ‘‘appears to have been completely oblivious to the needs of his children’’, but ‘‘appears to be proud of his treatment of his children’’.

‘‘The offender, in a self-indulgent and pitiless way, robbed them of their innocence, their formative years and their family.’’

The judge rejected the children’s father’s claim of amnesia about the 2010 incidents, after a psychiatrist rejected the claim.

He was sentenced to a minimum 15 years’ jail, with his earliest release date in November 2025 after taking into account time already served.


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