How the system let a sex predator abuse three little boys

THE police knew. His parents knew. One of the state's leading forensic rehabilitation services knew.

Yet a "manipulative" and "narcissistic" young Ipswich sex predator's abuse of three little boys continued unchecked for 15 months after the mother of one victim aired her suspicions.

The 18-year-old offender, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will not serve any time behind bars despite a trail of abuse that lasted three years.
 

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Mums' outrage as child sex abuser walks free

Innocence lost: One little boy's descent into hell
 

Tuesday's two-hour sentencing hearing in Brisbane District Court recounted the harrowing details of the depraved sex acts he forced on the children as he used computer games, blackmail and coercion to keep them under his control.

His youngest victim endured three years of abuse yet the police and the abuser's parents did nothing to stop it even though the accused was cautioned in May 2013.

Just over 12 months later, police referred the juvenile to Griffith University's youth justice conference but the facilitators indicated he was not suitable to take part.

The teenager started preying on his victims when he was a few months shy of his 14th birthday in July 2011 and continued the offending until August 7, 2014 when he was charged.

The first victim was seven years old when the abuse began and 10 when it ended; the second victim was assaulted from six to eight years of age; and the last victim was 11 when he was subjected to six weeks of abuse.

A pre-sentence psychologist's report revealed the accused showed no remorse or empathy for his victims.

The court heard that after the mother first contacted police in May, 2013 he went out of his way to rebuild and strengthen his relationship with her and eventually the abuse resumed.

The attacks finally ended after another mum became suspicious after hearing a bed "creaking" while the accused was on a play date with her son.

Crown prosecutor Chris Cook told the court "sexual gratification" motivated the teenager.

Mr Cook said the accused revealed this in a pre-sentence meeting with a psychologist.

"He described himself as the king of manipulators who took pride in that description," Mr Cook told the court.

"He violated the trust of the families."

Defence counsel Phil Hardcastle said his client started watching pornography when he was 11 and this led to a sexual obsession with boys.

Mr Hardcastle attempted to block media from the court hearing.

Mr Hardcastle said if his client had received treatment when police first questioned him, it was likely the offending would have stopped.

Judge Paul Smith agreed, saying the accused's parents should have sought clinical help in 2013.

"If he'd been dealt with back then he might have got treatment," Judge Smith said.

He sentenced the retail worker to a two-year suspended sentence with probation and a conditional release order for 17 offences including multiple counts of indecent treatment of a child; sodomy; and possessing and making child exploitation material.

Convictions were recorded for the most serious offences.

The teenager faces a two-year prison term if he breaches the parole or release orders.

Judge Smith took into account the teenager's youth, his guilty pleas and his prospects for rehabilitation when sentencing.

- APN NEWSDESK



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