A Northern Rivers man has been sentenced after he breached an order prohibiting him from being in the company of children.
A Northern Rivers man has been sentenced after he breached an order prohibiting him from being in the company of children. Marc Stapelberg

Repeat child abuse offender jailed for having child in car

A LISMORE Heights man who breached restrictions placed on him as a result of previous child abuse offences will be behind bars until June this year.

Derek Muldrock, 42, faced Lismore Local Court for sentencing last week after his solicitor, Jim Fuggle, entered a plea of guilty on his behalf to one charge of contravening a prohibition order.

The court heard Muldrock gave a woman and her child, who was under 18 years of age, a lift in his car on the afternoon of March 5.

This was contrary to conditions he faced as a result of previous convictions in NSW and Queensland.

Police patrolling in the same area and saw Muldrock with the child in his car.

Mr Fuggle acknowledged the offence did carry a jail term.

Magistrate David Heilpern said he doubted a sentencing assessment report, which considers options for sentencing other than full time custody, would assist him.

"I don't see that a ... sentencing assessment report is really going to help," Mr Heilpern said.

"It's really a question of how long."

He said the incident appeared to be a "pretty serious breach".

"Clearly this is a young person with some cognitive limitations and he's in the car with them."

Mr Fuggle said his client's partner was also present in the car when he gave the child, and her carer, a lift.

"They were in the process of giving the pair a lift before being pulled over by police," he said.

He asked the court to take into account his client's early plea of guilty, troubled background and mental health difficulties.

The court heard Muldrock had lodged a guilty plea on the basis of recklessness.

That is, he should have realised the child was younger than 18.

The court heard Muldrock's record included an offence in Queensland of indecent treatment of a child and sexual intercourse with a person under 10 years.

Mr Heilpern said this history was "extremely concerning".

"Since that time he has shown an inability repeatedly to comply with his reporting obligations," Mr Heilpern said.

But he said Muldrock was "not a vehicle for general or specific deterrence", in part due to his "significant mental health issues".

Magistrate David Heilpern sentenced him to 12 months in prison with a non-parole period of three months.

This was backdated to the day of his arrest, so he will first be eligible for parole in June.



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