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Sex Offender Can Live Next To Victim

THE West Australian Government and Opposition have attacked a decision to hand a suspended sentence to a child sex offender, allowing him to return to his home next door to one of his victims.
Kevin James Lilly , 58, was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence last month after pleading guilty to indecently dealing with three children.
It has since been reported that Lilly has returned to his house in a community near Perth, and is living next door to one of the victims.
Residents of the community have expressed outrage at the sentence, handed down by District Court Chief Judge Antoinette Kennedy, and want Lilly to leave town.
Attorney-General Jim McGinty said today that Lilly should have been given a jail term, and should move away from his victim.
"I think the offender needs to look at moving out of that area now," Mr McGinty told ABC radio today.
"The court doesn't have the power to direct a private individual to sell their house but I think that's the only decent thing to be done."
Opposition Leader Paul Omodei labelled the sentence "woefully inadequate".
"It highlights the enormous gulf between the soft sentences handed out by the courts and the punishments demanded by the community for these type of offences," Mr Omodei said in a statement.
"This man should have gone to jail."
Mr Omodei said the Government should make a commitment to introduce laws, similar to those in the United States, requiring authorities to alert residents if convicted child sex offenders move into an area.
A public register that listed details of offenders' crimes and their sentences was also essential, he said.
"The safety of our children is paramount, and parents should have access to this information so they can protect their children from dangerous sex offenders," Mr Omodei said.

AAP (5-7-2006)

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