'Vile' Whitby jailed for at least 26 years for child sex crimes
Convicted child sex offender David Shane Whitby will spend
at least 26 years in prison for his "vile" crimes against
children as young as 14 months.
A police investigator was among several
people crying at Sydney's Downing Centre District
Court today as details of Whitby's offences were given during his sentencing.
Whitby, now aged 56, filmed and photographed his acts committed against boys and girls.
The footage was viewed by Judge Peter Berman during a trial that was heard without a jury.
Whitby was found guilty of 120 offences, including rape, against eight
children over a 10-year period in suburban Sydney.
"I've come across horrific aspects of human behaviour [and] the offences I
will now detail are as disturbing as anything I've previously encountered," Judge Berman said today.
"I've never seen one human being treat another in such a vile, disgusting
manner as I saw in that recording."
Most of the offences were against a boy aged eight to 13 years.
The court had been told the boy was plied with money, alcohol and drugs
before the offences, which included oral and anal sex and acts with dildos and carrots.
Judge Berman said the victim had developed "major depression and a major anxiety disorder".
Another victim was a baby girl of 14 months, whose mother left her in
Whitby's care for a short time.
Video evidence showed the girl becoming distressed at the sight of Whitby,
who ripped off her nappy, performed sex acts on the child and finally ejaculated on her body.
"It was impossible to watch what the offender did without feeling emotional," Judge Berman said.
The judge described Whitby's offences as worse than that of notorious paedophile
Robert "Dolly" Dunn, and said details of his offending must be made public.
"There are people like Mr Whitby in the world and it is necessary to describe
the evil that people do because as Shakespeare reminds us 'that evil lives
after them'," Judge Berman said.
Taking into account time already served, Whitby will be eligible for parole in September 2034.
He maintains his innocence.
Outside court, one of Whitby's victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons,
spoke of her continuing trauma.
"I speak for other victims, as well as for myself, when I say
no jail sentence will ever take away the pain, trauma and suffering we
all have and will continue to endure," she told reporters after Whitby's sentencing.
"Justice may have been served but the memories and the nightmares never fade.
"All we can do now is to try and piece together our lives and find comfort
knowing that he will never be able to hurt another innocent child."
DJ found guilty of 120 sex offences
David Shane Whitby was naked as he turned directly to the camera and in a child-like
voice boasted: "I love to molest children."
His confessional video was part of the Sydney disc jockey's horrific collection, which
depicted him sexually abusing eight children, including a screaming baby,
over a 10-year period.
In some videos, Whitby is wearing items including a pink fairy outfit, a black mask, a
black body suit, black high heels or a suspender belt and stockings, as are some victims.
Despite the 56-year-old's contention that a lookalike acquaintance was the culprit,
Judge Peter Berman has concluded Whitby is the man depicted in the videos.
"I am absolutely certain, well beyond any reasonable doubt, that the accused has been
correctly identified as being the adult male in those videos," he said on Thursday.
The NSW District Court judge, who heard the trial without a jury, found Whitby guilty
of 120 sex offences, including 22 of having sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
"Some of the children are only seen being abused on one occasion," the judge said.
"Others are seen being abused on multiple occasions over many years."
Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC said if every single offence portrayed on the DVDs
had been charged there would be "many thousands" of counts on the indictment.
The offences came to light when one victim reported her prolonged abuse after fearing
Whitby would molest her baby sister.
She became concerned when she saw him videoing her sister's first birthday party.
"The memory of that video camera, just the thought of what happened, it brought back
memories," she said.
The judge, who spent more than one day viewing extracts from the DVDs, said they were
"very difficult" to watch but he had to put his emotions to one side.
Whitby, who wears his long grey hair in a ponytail, gave evidence claiming to have been
"pretty traumatised" at seeing the DVDs in court.
Although six people who knew him for many years identified him as being the man, Whitby
said the culprit was Dave Haines, a man who resembled him.
"He had access to just about everything in my life at one stage, friends,
family, jobs," he said.
He agreed that the DVDs depicted three locations where Whitby had lived and
the victims were children with whom he had come into contact.
Further, up to 70 items seen in the DVDs, such as masks, wigs and underwear,
were similar to items found in his room and suitcase.
The judge noted that "despite apparently being involved in about every aspect"
of his life for 15 years, Whitby was unable to give an address, workplace or
phone number for Dave Haines.
The only people whom he could name who had met Dave Haines were three people,
now dead, and Whitby's mother, who is too sick to give evidence.
Other than the identification evidence, the judge stressed there were "many
pieces of evidence which individually would be enough to
demonstrate the accused's guilt".
Sentencing submissions will take place on September 24.