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Man gets 19 years for sexual assault of boy, 7
It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon and the seven-year-old boy was walking home from school.
But he did not arrive.
Andrew Philip Balch
grabbed him off the street and took him to his nearby home.
Over the next 16 hours in September last year, he forced him to stay and sexually assaulted him numerous times.
Yesterday, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the "most abhorrent and deviant" offences by District Court Judge Norman Delaney.
"In a way it's almost beyond belief even to those that sit here [in court] on a daily basis that such an event could have occurred. The severity of it could hardly be understated," Judge Delaney said.
Balch had pleaded guilty to seven charges and told police he had done "something disgusting" to a "really precious boy".
"It was as low as a human can go," he admitted and said he realised that the boy was frightened.
The 43 year-old has previous convictions for sexual offences and had enrolled in a sex offender treatment program which taught him to avoid situations where he would encounter children.
He had also served two and a half years in a South Australian jail, and six months in home detention for killing a man in a drunken pub brawl.
The court was told Balch was a loner, with low self-esteem who had trouble holding down a job.
Balch, who had migrated from England as a young boy, was a single man and drank to excess and was "more committed to his drinking" than forming relationships.
He told police he had planned to invite the boy to his home to watch cartoons on Foxtel, but had panicked and just grabbed him off Factory Street in North Parramatta.
When the young boy did not come home from school, police launched a search and doorknocked everyone in the neighbourhood, including Balch. He looked through the peephole in the front door, but did not answer.
The boy repeatedly asked him to go home and Balch finally let him go at 7.45 the next morning to complete his walk home.
Balch is eligible for parole in September 2017.
Father happy to have abducted son home
The father of a boy allegedly abducted from a street in Sydney's west says he is happy to have his son home.
The seven-year-old boy was allegedly abducted after school on Thursday and released the next morning.
Andrew Phillip Balch, 42, appeared before Parramatta Bail Court yesterday, charged with 26 offences in relation to the incident.
Balch did not apply for bail and will face court again next week.
The boy's father says his son has been traumatised.
"It's hard to say," he said.
"He's OK and then he's not OK because at times it comes up... I mean he's in a trauma."
Man charged over abduction of boy, 7
A man charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy was today refused bail in a Sydney court.
Andrew Philip Balch, 42, from North Parramatta, allegedly kidnapped the young boy from an intersection in North Parramatta in Sydney's west on Thursday evening.
The youngster returned home at 7.45am on Friday after being held for about 17 hours where he was allegedly sexually assaulted in a nearby flat.
Balch had been under police guard in hospital since Friday afternoon.
He was taken to Kings Cross Police Station last night where he was formally charged and faces multiple counts of sexual and indecent assault, including 18 counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Balch refused to go into the Paramatta Bail Court from his cell today but his legal representative said his client would not apply for bail.
Magistrate Steve Lister formally refused bail and remanded Balch in custody to reappear by video link before the same court on Thursday.
Outside the court, the alleged victim's parents said the past few days had been an horrific ordeal.
"We don't want this to happen to anybody's child, what [we believe] has happened," the boy's father said.
"I'm taking this up as a sort of personal crusade ... to make sure that this doesn't happen to anybody else."
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