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Judge’s bizarre reasons for sparing paedophile jail

One of the victims of TM who the court has ordered cannot be identified. Picture: Troy Snook
One of the victims of TM who the court has ordered cannot be identified. Picture: Troy Snook

A PAEDOPHILE who raped and abused young girls at his church has avoided jail as a judge granted him leniency for a series of bizarre reasons - including his high cholesterol, how the case had caused him trouble sleeping and that his farm had once gone through drought.

Other factors that prevented his incarceration included that he would be "vulnerable to abuse" in prison and had never participated in sex education at school.

And the 55-year-old Dubbo man can be known only as TM because his identity is protected by a non-publication order.

One of the Dubbo victims of TM in a school photo.
One of the Dubbo victims of TM in a school photo.

Even his victims are being stopped from speaking out despite their fears children are still at risk because the man doesn't have a supervision order as part of his suspended sentence. Bizarrely­, the suppression orders were requested by authorities.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman was last night demanding the Director of Public Prosecutions urgently brief him on the case after The Daily Telegraph unearthed the shocking findings, which have been kept secret since June. Mr Speakman also asked the Police Commissioner to investigate.

It can today be revealed that TM pleaded guilty to 10 counts of historic child sex crimes from 1980-87 on two girls who were aged 8 and 10 at the time the abuse started. TM was aged 19 to 26 and had access to the children through the religious group he belonged to. This group can also not be named.

In one case, when the victim was nine and he was 19, he forced her to perform oral sex. He also raped the same victim at an orchard when she was 14.

The other victim was just 11 when TM started taking her into a back room at the church. On two occasions he attempted to rape her. The crimes had a combined maximum jail sentence of 54 years at the time they were committed but District Court Judge John North decided to impose a suspended sentence of just two years.

One of the reasons for giving TM a suspended sentence was his high cholesterol.
One of the reasons for giving TM a suspended sentence was his high cholesterol.

Judge North claimed TM had led "an exemplary life" after the six years he spent abusing children and was entitled to a discount based on "good character".

He said he accepted TM was "naive" and "totally inexperienced" because he had never undergone sex education at school.

The judge also said TM was a "farmer grazier" and "integral to the continuation of the business", and that "between 2002 and 2012 the property suffered from considerable drought". "His preoccupation with these unresolved manners has heavily distracted from his sleep," he added.

Judge North also said TM would "be treated as a serious sex offender in custody" and would "have to spend a considerable time in isolation". TM also suffered from type two diabetes­ ­and high cholesterol.

One victim, who cannot be identified, said the sentence was a "slap in the face".

She said she had not wanted a non-publication order on his or her name and was upset the decision­ was made without consulting her. "I want to speak out to warn others," she said. "I'm very concerned he is still accessing children in the church."

The other victim, who also cannot be named, said she also told the DPP she did not want a non-publication order.

One of the victims of TM who was abused in Dubbo.
One of the victims of TM who was abused in Dubbo.

"I'm not ashamed about what happened to me," she said. "They said it was for our protection but ... the only person it's protecting is him."

Both women have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.

DPP spokeswoman Anna Cooper said the case was being reviewed. Opposition Attorney­-General Paul Lynch said suppressing victims' names against their wishes was "fundamentally wrong".

WHY THE JUDGE DIDN'T JAIL PAEDOPHILE

HIS FARM HAD A DROUGHT

"As a farmer grazier I accept he is integral to the continuation of the business and that his properties cannot operate effectively without him. I also accept that between 2002 and 2012, the property suffered considerably from drought."

HE NEVER TOOK SEX EDUCATION AT SCHOOL

"His mother refused to allow his participation in sex education at school. I am willing to accept to accept that the offender was naive and totally inexperienced and therefore a significant age gap is not quite as important".

HE COULD BE ABUSED IN PRISON

"He would be treated as a serious sex offender in custody, and I accept that he would have to spend a considerable time in protective custody, or indeed, in isolation. Given his age and background and the nature of the offences, he would be vulnerable to abuse.

HE HAS HIGH CHOLESTEROL

"He has diabetes type 2, hypecholesrolaemia and chronic kidney disease. Whilst these things can be treated in prison, they will no doubt be quite difficult to adequately manage."

HE HAS BEEN HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING

"His preoccupation with these unresolved matters has heavily distracted from sleep and his ability to function effectively."

 

To get in touch with Annabelle Hennessy you can email her: annabel.hennessy@news.com.au

Topics:  court justice paedophile rape



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