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Pervert Paid To Teach Children

PERTH: A convicted paedophile who was paid by the Department for Community Development to teach piano to a teenage ward of the state was charged yesterday over an alleged sexual relationship with the boy.
DCD executive director Lex McCulloch described the case as "unacceptable and unbelievable", saying the 40-year-old Dianella man would never have been allowed to tutor the boy if his case worker had carried out a routine police check.
That check would have shown the music teacher had been convicted of indecent dealing in 1997.
"It was just bad practice basically, we should have done the police check," Mr McCulloch said.
Child protection squad detectives raided the man's Alexander Drive home about 6am yesterday and later charged him with one count of having a sexual relationship with a child under the age of 16, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years jail.
Del-Sen. Const. Andrew Kerr said it would be alleged the offences occurred almost every time the boy went to the home for a piano lesson, which was at least once a week.
"The victim is alleging that over a six-month period he attended for piano lessons, sometimes once, sometimes more, and on many of those occasions he was offended against," Sen. Const. Kerr said.

The West Australian (31-8-2005)
Luke Eliot

Government Paid Pedophile To Teach Piano

WESTERN Australia's Government paid a convicted pedophile to give piano lessons to a ward of the state after making a "monumuntal mistake", Premier Geoff Gallop said today.
A 40-year-old Perth man was charged yesterday with having a sexual relationship with the child, who is under the age of 16 years.
Today, it emerged the Department of Community Development (DCD) had not conducted a routine police check that would have revealed the teacher had been convicted for a sex offence.
Dr Gallop said the oversight was "an appalling failure".
"I mean clearly this was a mistake of monumental proportions that shouldn't have been made within the department," he said.
But he stood by Community Development Minister Sheila McHale, saying the proper policies and procedures were in place but had not been followed.
"They should have been followed," Dr Gallop said.
"They weren't, and it is most important that we look at the circumstances the supervisory systems that are in place in respect of that issue."
Ms McHale would ensure there was a proper investigation into the matter, Dr Gallop said, adding the community development officer at the centre of the scandal no longer worked for the department.
"I think the role of the minister in this particular case is to make sure that there is a proper investigation of the circumstances that surrounded the incident and to absorb any lessons that come from that," he said.
Dr Gallop admitted the department had staffing pressures but said the same was true for much of the public and private sector.
"This is a department that deals with crisis ... we've got to make sure that the resources are there, that the policies and the laws that support the department's work are in place and certainly in the government we have been very, very diligent to make sure that's the case since we came to power in 2001," Dr Gallop said.
Parents should work on the assumption the department had exercised its responsibilities fully, he said.
The Premier would not say whether parents should be able to carry out their own background checks.
"In terms of the right for them to find out themselves I think the right that they should have is to know that the process is being followed and that anyone engaged does not have a record in that instance," he said.
The Government had introduced legislation and was making sure proper screening mechanisms were in place for the wide range of bodies dealing with children, Dr gallop said.
From next year anyone who works with children in WA will be required to have a police clearance.
The charged man faced Perth Magistrates Court today, and made no application for bail.
He was remanded in custody ahead of his next appearance in the same court on September 28.

AAP (31-8-2005)

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