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Convicted paedophile allowed to look after kids

A BURDEKIN man who walked free this week after being found not guilty of inappropriately touching a seven-year old is a convicted paedophile who had been chemically castrated.
A child protection advocacy group is outraged the child sex offender, who "played a tickling game" with the girl in which he touched her "boobies", was allowed to look after children in the small Burdekin community.
An Ayr mother unwittingly let the 58-year-old man look after her daughter for the evening.
"Clearly this mother would not have let this man near her child if she knew his background," Bravehearts research manager Carol Ranken said.
"Because this type of behaviour he displayed is concerning - by gaining the girl's trust and getting close to her."
The disabled pensioner, who was first jailed in Victoria about 20 years ago, was this week acquitted in the Townsville District Court of two counts of unlawful and indecent treatment of a child under 12.
He walked free after admitting in his trial that he inappropriately touched her chest twice, kissed her on the lips and said "I love you". His legal counsel argued the defendant was "a lonely old man" and his actions were "innocent and accidental" - which the jury accepted.

However, for the ex-prisoner to get a fair trial the jury did not know his history of sex offences against young girls.
Documents obtained by the Townsville Bulletin reveal the defendant had been convicted three times between 1986 and 1992 of offences involving female children as young as 10.
And during the child sex offender's incarceration he was administered with injections for chemical castration.
Since his release from Fulham Correctional Centre protection unit in West Sale there are no records he has re-offended.
The man, who cannot be named under Queensland law, was allowed to look after the girl and her 10-year-old brother by their mother who attended a concert in Townsville on April 17, 2009. In the woman's evidence she said the neighbour had come to her house frequently before the incident.
"We used to go fishing and I would take him into town and give him lifts home," she said. The evening she asked him to babysit was the first time and after that night the family fled the neighbourhood.

Bravehearts said the situation could have been avoided if police had some way of legally notifying neighbours that a convicted offender was living in their street.
"It is really concerning that we don't have a way of letting communities know about a paedophile's release back into the community," Ms Ranken said.
"We don't support a public sex offender registry as they tend to go underground - but we do support the release of limited information to inform people personally affected."

Townsville Bulletin (30-10-2010)
Roanne Johnson

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