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40 per cent sentencing discount for contrite skate park child molester

Skate park rapist Matthew Peter Watson could be released from jail as early as next month - and his victim's family say they have been "robbed" by the District Court.
The parents of the boy yesterday said they have yet to tell their son his tormentor received a 40 per cent sentencing discount because he confessed to his crime.
"We've got to try and find a way of breaking it to him . . . everyone is confused, upset, not happy," the boy's step-father told The Advertiser.
"He's already asking what happened, and we're saying we don't know yet.
"He was robbed at birth by his learning disability, then robbed by this man and now the judge has robbed him again. How can he heal when the justice system has robbed him?"
In 2006, Watson, 32, and another man took the boy from the North Tce skate park.
Watson then encouraged the boy to perform sex acts.
After the incident, he fled to Queensland, eventually confessing his crime to the Fijian rugby team's chaplain and then police.
In sentencing yesterday, Judge Paul Cuthbertson said Watson's "extreme contrition" and "assistance to the administration of justice" called for his 4 year sentence to be reduced to two years and eight months.
Watson will be eligible for parole next month because his 18-month minimum term was backdated to his November 2008 arrest.
Yesterday, the boy's step-father said Watson's confession, and subsequent sentencing discount, sent a message to other offenders that abusing a child was "fine, because your sentence will be reduced".
He said that without justice, which he had hoped would come in the form of a 8-10 year sentence, the boy, now 14, would struggle to move on.
"It's not about him admitting his crime, it's about the crime he did," he said.
"The action of him handing himself in does not compare to the action of what he did to the boy."

AdelaideNow (9-4-2010)
Jordanna Schriever

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Contrite skate park child molester

ADELAIDE skate park child molester Matthew Peter Watson will likely be released from custody next month after receiving a significant sentence discount.
Watson, 32, was given a 40 per cent reduction on his sentence for turning himself into Queensland police in November 2008, two years after molesting an 11-year-old boy at the North Terrace skate park in June 2006.
At least once before in SA, a sex offender has received a high discount for voluntarily surrendering to police. In 1997, convicted serial rapist Brett Anthony Major - who also confessed his crimes - was given a 40 per cent discount on his 20-year sentence.
In sentencing Watson today, Judge Paul Cuthbertson said Watson's "extreme contrition" and "assistance to the administration of justice" called for him to reduce a head sentence of four years and six months to two years and eight months.
"It was fairly obvious that no one was going to be located for this crime and it would go unpunished," Judge Curthbertson said.
Watson pleaded guilty to two counts of having sex with a person under 14.
Judge Cuthbertson said Watson fled South Australia to Queensland because he was wracked with guilt.
Watson had confessed after advice from a Fijian rugby team chaplain who led devotion for the team at a Sunshine Coast backpackers hostel where Watson was also staying.
"You sought out the chaplain and indicated you had been touched by the singing you had heard," Judge Cuthbertson said.
"You told him you had comitted a crime ... on his advice you contacted Queensland police and confessed."
The court heard Watson and another man had taken an 11-year-old boy who suffered attention deficit hyperactivity disorder from the skate park.
Watson encouraged him to perform sex acts.
"There is no allegation it occurred without consent," Judge Cuthbertson said.
But, he said, Watson had admitted to police the boy had little alternative while in the presence of adults.
Judge Cuthbertson said it was "surprising someone so young should be out so late without adult supervision".
The court has previously heard the boy had been at the skate park with his sister late on a Sunday night.
"His mother berates herself because she did not protect him from what happened that night," he said.
Watson will be eligible for parole next month, when the 18-month non-parole period backdated from his November 2008 arrest expires.

AdelaideNow (8-4-2010)
Jordanna Schriever

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