Courts need Public Interest and we need to show them that not only are we interested, we won't stop until the police and citizens can rest peacefully, knowing that the law is representing them and we can rely again on its protection.
We all know that here in Australia, the maximum penalty is very rarely imposed. Without aggravated circumstances, which comprises of penetration and oral sex, the maximum penalty for one offence is ten years. Instead, sex offenders often walk free and some are granted a wholly suspended sentence. The victim is supposedly meant to find consolation in the fact that, although proceeding against the offender can take up to two years to finalise, at least a conviction is recorded. There is no mark to warn other people in society of these people. The police know who they are and they say that all they can do, is keep picking them up. They too are frustrated! There are specific departments set up in your local neighbourhoods to "rehabilitate" and actually test these offenders reactions to you and your children in your local shopping centres. The rehabilitation officers say, that even they are fearful of these people due to be released back into our society.
Out of the many concerning examples of the law not being fully applied:
The heartbreaking murder of Daniel Morcombe by serial, violent sex offender Brett Peter Cowan. Cowan had amounted 30 offences prior to the age of 18. He then went on to re-offend, horrifically raping a young boy. He received a 2 year sentence for the crime, but only served half. Cowan then went on to rape another young boy, whom he left for dead, after puncturing his lung. The boy managed to escape and his injuries were so severe, it was initially thought that he had been hit by a car. Cowan received a 7 year sentence, but only served 5 years. After these lenient sentences, he went on to abduct and murder Daniel Morcombe, which would have been prevented if Cowan had not been given continuous chances to re-offend, by receiving inadequate sentences. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-13/brett-peter-cowan-has-a-lengthy-criminal-history/5318564
A father raped his daughter multiple times who was under the age of 12 at the time, and still appealed an 18 month non-parole period. Rejected, but appalling sentence. Read the gruelling cross-examination the young girl went through, direct from the mouth of the justice system, of how her character was discredited and the tactics employed to get the perpretrator a shorter sentence. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/qld/QCA/2012/26.html
In the same court, a 12 year sentence was given to one person for forgery and 6 years to another for the theft of $150,000. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/qld/QCA/2012/43.html
A 2 year sentence was recently given to a Tasmanian man, Christopher John Wright, 33, who sexually assaulted a 10 year old girl on two separate occasions, where he produced and shared child pornography of the incident. He also had over 2000 child pornography images on his computer and a few hundred videos of other victims.
A man was recently given a 14 month sentence for the multiple sexual assaults of an 11 year old boy. The boy reported the crime to his teacher and police at the time, the offender also claimed that he had been awaiting the arrest the whole time, but it took the police 20 years to activate the case.
"He pleaded guilty to two counts of committing an indecent act with a child under 16 and two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16."
Terry John Williamson, 42, of NSW, was granted parole on Friday, February 3 2012. He received a 2 year sentence for each of his 11 rape victims. The youngest being a 5 year old girl and 10 year old boy.
Clifford Frith received an 18 month sentence with a non-parole period of 6 months, for the sexual abuse of two young girls.
Marek Stanislaw Waskiewicz 41, was sentenced to 12 months jail for child exploitation charges, wholly suspended, and two years for sexual assault charges, to be suspended after serving 10 months, for sexually assaulting an 11 year old boy. They are appealing "whether the sentence was manifestly excessive in all the circumstances" http://www.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/2012/QCA/022
Former Tasmanian Upper House MP Terry Martin 54, was recently given a one-month jail sentence, wholly suspended after admitting in the Supreme Court to possessing hundreds of pornographic images, some depicting girls as young as eight. Martin was found guilty by a jury last year of having sex with a 12 year old and producing child exploitation material, receiving a 10 month suspended sentence for those offences. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-16/martin-court-sentence/3834394
A 9 month non-parole period for a teacher sexually assaulting a student in Tasmania: http://www.news.com.au/national/teacher-jailed-for-sex-with-16-year-old-student/story-e6frfky9-1226315231069
A 40 year sentence for a teacher who sexually assaulted a student in America http://www.news.com.au/world/teacher-jailed-40-years-for-sex-with-student-aged-14/story-e6frfkyi-1226274481370
"Good character" is taken into consideration in rape cases. A man who raped an 80 year old woman he cared for in a nursing home was given 6 months because the court said he was a good father. The judge said, " The penalty would seem light to many people, but it would be unjust to give Alexander more jail time. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-03-28/family-appalled-over-6-month-sentence-for-nursing/2385648http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/central-victorian-man-joins-push-to-strip-priest-of-oam/2496709.aspx He said Alexander was a devoted father to his two children and did not suffer from a psychosexual disorder."
3 years non-parole for father's multiple rapes of his then 11 year old daughter resulting in her giving birth to his child. Apparent grounds for appeal: "...where the respondent pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship, two counts of indecent dealing, and six counts of rape – where the complainant was the respondent’s daughter – where respondent had no criminal history – where respondent’s wife had lengthy battle with cancer – where offending commenced subsequent to her death – where complainant could only particularise two occasions of intercourse – where respondent assisted police by particularising further offending conduct – where respondent pleaded guilty at an early stage." His psychologist provides the excuse: the respondent experienced “...a poor adjustment to the loss of his wife” and exhibited “...a cluster of signs and symptoms consistent with adjustment disorder and depression”. He was of the view that these matters and his exposure to his wife’s treatment and deterioration in health were likely to have been “severe and exacerbated by the depression experienced through his wife’s treatment”. He concluded that by virtue of his condition, the respondent’s “capacity to understand the nature of [his offending conduct] was likely to be impaired...” He was also of the view that the respondent demonstrated empathy for the complainant and appeared remorseful and ashamed of his actions. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/qld/QCA/2012/203.html
A sex offender Father Murray, walks free deemed unfit for trial due to his old age of 80. Multiple victims of the Priest, spanning decades were denied justice. http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/central-victorian-man-joins-push-to-strip-priest-of-oam/2496709.aspx
The Catholic Church is currently being heavily investigated because of alarming figures linking suicide to clergy abuse, but the law in Australia, due to a High Court ruling in 2007, provides Civil Immunity to the Catholic Church against compensation claims. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/push-to-widen-sex-abuse-inquiry-20120422-1xf4s.html
This is the time when we all say, we will not accept early release of these offenders. We will not accept lenient penalties when there is a maximum penalty set for these crimes. We all know the rate of re-offending. Only 15% of sexual assault cases that are reported to police are proceeded with in court - http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/pubs/newsletter/n17.html#What
Among the many evidence requirements, it is actually stated that a male is more likely to be believed when reporting sexual assault to police. It is recognised in Queensland as the highest reported personal offence, over physical violence, but at the moment, Queensland Corrective Services are instead conducting research into the rise in glassing incidents in nightclubs. When we have alarming statistics in Australia of 1 in 3 girls having been sexually abused and 1 in 6 boys before the age of 18, plus recent figures showing that one person is sexually assaulted every 30 minutes in Australia, it is time to put a stop to the damage to society that these crimes commit, and the heartbreaking frustration of seeing justice not being applied to the full extent of the law.
Be a part of the answer. You might actually save a few people from this horrible abuse, if we can keep these types of criminals out of society for longer.
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