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Police can grab sex fiends

Police will get new powers to try to stop a repeat of the bungle that saw three men who escaped from a secure sex offender centre given a 19-hour head start.
The trio escaped from the Statewide Forensic Services unit at Fairfield about 10.20pm on January 11, but because of legal loopholes and protocol bungles a day passed before police could publicly identify them.
They were arrested the next day when one gave himself up and led police to the other two, who were enjoying themselves at Crown casino.
The Government was severely embarrassed by the incident.
It highlighted problems between Victoria Police and the Department of Human Services in dealing with sex offenders at the Fairfield therapeutic centre for people with intellectual disabilities.
Community Services Minister Gavin Jennings will today announce changes to protocols between the two agencies.
Top of the list will be powers to allow police to immediately arrest anyone who escapes from the centre, regardless of what legal order they were detained under.
Police will be able to quickly release photos of dangerous escapees.
“Giving police power to apprehend an escapee means the police have the authority to publicly identify any escapee, or seek the legal authority to do so when required — independently of the Victorian Government,” Mr Jennings said.
“Police are best placed to determine whether the public release of information that identifies a person will assist in their operations to apprehend an escapee.”
Sex offenders will also find it harder to be detained at the facility — a small, secure unit which houses a maximum of 15 people at any one time.
The move is believed to be in response to concerns one of the men had a lower level of disability and should not have been there.
One of the men, Raymond Maxwell Warford, 32, has since been charged over the incident.
Of the others, one — Robert Hogan, 18, — has been sent to another detention centre; the other — Darren Russell Seiler, 25 — has been returned to the Fairfield centre.
Mr Jennings said a number of other measures would be introduced to try to ensure those on the victims’ register were notified of escapes.
An external review of security is under way and a second inquiry into the department’s handling of the incident is also being conducted.


www.heraldsun.com.au (9-2-2007)
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/police-can-grab-sex-fiends/story-e6frf7kx-1111112965507



Sex offender confesses after rehab

A man with a history of sex crimes against children has credited a rehabilitation program with his decision to confess to further offences.
A court heard yesterday that Darren Russell Seiler had voluntarily approached police and admitted to crimes that had not previously been reported. "This has been a secret for five years," Seiler told police. "It is part of my treatment to tell things about what I've done."
Seiler, 23, was jailed three years ago for crimes against children. He has since been paroled, but remains held at a secure facility.
A psychiatrist reported to a County Court judge in 2001 that Seiler's behaviour had been shaped by "exposure to an explicit diet of sexual perversion, aggression and brainwashing by his father".
Judge Michael Higgins described the case as one of the most tragic he had seen.
In the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday, Seiler pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual penetration and three of committing an indecent act. The crimes were not reported until Seiler voluntarily went to the police sexual crimes squad in August last year.
His lawyer, Andrew Hale, told magistrate Lisa Hannan that while Seiler had an intellectual disability, he was aware of why he was pleading guilty to the charges.
Ms Hannan bailed Seiler to live at the secure facility, and to appear in the County Court in February.


www.theage.com.au (2-12-2004)
Steve Butcher
http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Sex-offender-confesses-after-rehab/2004/12/01/1101577557869.html?from=moreStories









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