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- Paul Ronald Goldsmith
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Priests prepare to be called up for inquiry
The church organisation that ran Burnie's Marist Regional College when students
were sexually abused is preparing to be called before the royal commission, the
head of the Marist Fathers has said.
"I'm expecting the royal commission to be held all over Australia, and that when
the Tasmanian part of it is held there will be a requirement for the Marist Fathers
to participate," Marist provincial Paul Cooney said.
"Certainly, we will participate in any way that we are asked to."
Two Marist priests who taught at the school around the 1970s were charged in 2004
with sexually abusing students in their rooms at the school. Both men were
convicted and have served time in jail.
In 2008, unordained trainee priest
Paul Ronald Goldsmith, a volunteer sports
coach at the college in the 1970s, was convicted of molesting about 20 boys.
The order has not played an active role in the school since handing over the
reins to principal Susan Chen 10 years ago, and priests no longer teach.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the royal commission into institutional
responses to child sexual abuse last week.
Father Cooney said he welcomed the commission and hoped it would help victims
of sexual abuse.
"Hopefully, there will be a good outcome for the whole church and for the whole
of society about these terribly important matters," he said.
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Register `has failed'
Tasmanian laws do not stop home-grown child sex predators like Paul Ronald Goldsmith from
heading overseas, police say.
The North-West child abuser is in Africa, having served jail time in Tasmania for a
string of sexual offences against teen boys.
Anti-abuse campaigners and the Catholic church fear he may find new victims in Tanzania.
Beyond Abuse spokesman Steve Fisher spoke of horror and disgust at the "failure" of the
Tasmanian sex offenders register to stop the man he called "Tasmania's most prolific
paedophile" from going to Africa where "he has openly bragged of his intention to work
"I am absolutely amazed this man has been able to travel wherever he wants once finishing
parole, especially given it has been so well documented in the media of his intentions."
The Advocate revealed in 2008 Goldsmith intended to go to Africa and the Hobart Mercury
ran similar material in 2010.
"It was our understanding that once an offender is placed on the Community Protection
Register they must receive permission from the Police Minister before being allowed to
travel interstate or overseas," Mr Fisher said.
However, Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams said the Community Protection
(Offender Reporting) Act of 2005 did not give the Police Commissioner or anyone else power
to stop a reportable offender leaving the state.
She said the offenders were required to tell the registrar of the Community Protection
Register of intended travel.
The Tasmanian legislation was consistent with legislation in other jurisdictions and
stronger in some areas, she said.
"It is obvious the (State) Government cannot be counted on to do the right thing and I believe they should immediately launch into an investigation as to what has gone horribly wrong here."
Shadow police minister Elise Archer said Police Minister David O'Byrne "must explain how it is that Tasmanian paedophile Paul Ronald Goldsmith has been allowed to freely travel overseas, despite being a registered sex offender".
THIS is the full statement from Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams, in response to questions about convicted Tasmanian paedophile Paul Ronald Goldsmith being allowed to go to Africa
The Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2005 provides the legislative framework for the registration of offenders who commit sex offences against adults and children.
The Tasmanian legislation is consistent with, and in some areas stronger, than laws in other jurisdictions.
The Act provides for the non-disclosure (section 45) of information associated with the Community Protection Register. However there is a misconception about the powers contained in the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2005.
The Act does not provide the Commissioner of Police or any other person with the authority to prevent a reportable offender from leaving the state.
The reportable offender is required to notify the Registrar of the Community Protection Register, of the intended travel as per the Act.
Assistant Commissioner Adams also provided the relevant part of the legislation
19. Intended absence from Tasmania to be reported
(1) This section applies to a reportable offender who intends to leave Tasmania for 7 or more consecutive days to travel elsewhere.
(2) At least 14 days before leaving Tasmania, the reportable offender must report the intended travel to the Registrar and must provide
(a) details of each State, Territory or country to which he or she intends to go while out of
(b) details of the approximate dates of the periods during which he or she intends to be in each of those States, Territories or countries; and
(c) details of each address or location within each State, Territory or country at which he or she intends to reside (to the extent that they are known) and the approximate dates of the periods during which he or she intends to reside at those addresses or locations; and
(d) if he or she intends to return to Tasmania, the approximate date on which he or she intends to return; and
(e) if he or she does not intend to return to Tasmania , a statement of that intention; and
(f) all valid passports for inspection.
(2A) A reportable offender must present all valid passports to the Registrar or an authorised person for inspection within 7 days after returning to Tasmania.
(3) A reportable offender, whether in Tasmania or elsewhere, who decides to make a change to anything presented to the Registrar or an authorised person under subsection (2A) must, as soon as practicable, notify the Registrar of the change.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), the reportable offender must make the notification
(a) by facsimile or email sent to the Registrar; or
(b) in any other manner permitted by the Registrar.
Paedophile's freedom 'a kick in the guts' for victim
A victim of serial sex offender Paul Ronald Goldsmith yesterday said his freedom to leave
Tasmania for African country Tanzania was ``a kick in the guts'' for victims.
Goldsmith pleaded guilty in 2005 to 42 sex crimes against 20 North-West boys, aged 13 to 16.
The man, who cannot be named, was 13 when he was first molested by Goldsmith.
The abuse continued over two years.
``And I can't help but think of all the things those poor kids over there in Africa are going
to have to put up with - the same as I had,'' he said.
``I should have shot the bastard when I had the chance.
``Once a paedophile, always a paedophile.''
The man said the fact that Goldsmith was paroled in 2010 based on his ``exemplary'' prison
record was enough of an insult to victims and police investigators who worked hard to remove
him from the community.
The fact that Goldsmith could now freely choose to live anywhere in the world was worse.
``You think you would get a bit of justice and a reasonable sentence - that didn't
happen,'' the man said.
``For this to happen, it's another let-down.
``It makes a whole mockery of the case and even the Sex Offenders Register.''
A parole condition that Goldsmith have no contact with anyone under the age of 17 ``without
appropriate supervision'' ended in June.
``So it only took him nine weeks to get out of the country,'' the man said.
``It's absurd that he has been able to hang on to his passport for all this time while he
was in jail for what he has done - especially when they knew there was a risk that he would leave.''
Church warning after paedophile flees
One of Tasmania's worst serial paedophiles has fled the state and gone to Africa,
sparking fears he will reoffend.
Paul Ronald Goldsmith abused 20 adolescent boys during the 1970s and 1980s while
working as an athletics coach at Marist College in Burnie.
In 2005, Goldsmith pleaded guilty to 42 sex crimes.
The former trainee priest was sentenced to six and a half years jail with a
four-year, non-parole period.
He was released two years ago, his parole ended in May this year and he is now
The Archbishop of Hobart Adrian Doyle is concerned Goldsmith will reoffend and
has alerted his colleagues in Africa.
"I said you need to be very, very careful, watch him all the time," the Archbishop said.
"I don't know what the Tanzanian authorities might be able to do, or want to do,
if they become aware of his background but I think the point is the capacity to be
there in contact with a new group of young people is what we've got to avoid."
Tasmanian and Federal police have been alerted but they are refusing to comment on the case.
Horror endures for paedophile's victims
Twenty-four years ago, convicted serial paedophile Paul Ronald Goldsmith was minutes away from having
his life taken by a man who claims that Goldsmith took his.
On a Friday night in 1988, Michael*, who was 13 years old when he was sexually abused by Goldsmith, sat
hidden in bush and holding a loaded rifle at the top of the driveway of Goldsmith's Port Sorell home.
For up to an hour he waited for his tormentor to return home from work, but was frightened away when a car
turned into the street.
He ran home, where he shook with emotion for hours in disbelief that he had almost committed murder.
``If someone gets murdered, they move on to a better place if you believe it,'' Michael said.
``A paedophile takes your soul away. For the rest of your life, you are sort of like a zombie.''
Goldsmith, 67, was paroled in 2010 after serving four years of his six-and-a-half-year sentence for a string
of sex crimes, most of which took place when he was an athletics coach at Marist College in the 1970s and 1980s.
The supervision period of his parole ends this June.
Michael is afraid that Goldsmith will offend again.
Goldsmith was found guilty in 2005 of 42 sex offences committed against 20 boys, aged 13 to 16, between 1976
Michael said this conviction was just the ``tip of the iceberg''.
He believed Goldsmith may have been offending from 1987 until the day he was extradited from Western Australia
in 2004 to face paedophilia allegations in the North-West.
``Those people involved in his court case were the only people prepared to come forward,'' Michael said.
``There would easily be hundreds (of offences) that he committed.
``I was in that next generation of abused kids, in 1984 to 1986, well after his school days.
``I was one of few kids that the Federal Police managed to track down.
``I can name 21 other guys, and as far as I know there is only me and another guy that signed sworn statements.
``The others just don't want to do it, whether it is because they are not prepared to deal with their emotions,
or drag it back up in their lives, I don't know.''
Michael, like many other boys, fell for Goldsmith's charm after meeting him through the local golf club.
``He made himself appear to us as someone to look up to, an idol - someone to aspire to be like, or just like,
so you do things for them,'' he said.
``You wouldn't be able to pick him from anyone else in the public as a paedophile.
``He used to give us the belief that he was someone big.
``I suppose that you would call him a manipulator. All paedophiles are crafty and target the weak.
``To prey on youth is one thing but to prey on those not as assertive as others is another thing.''
The friendship involved drinking sessions at Goldsmith's Rice Street home, followed by overnight stays.
``It started through him giving you lifts home, then you would start to drive his car, sitting on his knee,''
``You would go to his home. There would be smokes, grog, cards, and things led off from there.
``If you lost a game of cards, you'd have to show him your personal parts or do something else.
``He slowly worked on you.''
Michael's abuse started at 13 for two years.
``I would perform sexual acts on him, and him on me - oral sex on each other, I would have to masturbate
him and he would masturbate me.
``Then he would sometimes jump into bed with you at night and fondle you.
``As time went on, emotionally you got worse, and you want to stop it but you don't.
``At the time, you knew it was odd but you didn't know any better. You were young with no sexual experience.
``You think it was what everyone else does growing up through puberty. You think this is what young blokes
do with grown-ups.
``It was only when he wanted sexual intercourse that I knew something was wrong.''
Federal Police tracked Michael down in regional NSW, where he had been living since 1991, and left with a
sworn statement that would later help convict Goldsmith.
``It was pretty gut-wrenching - when you start talking about it, you realise it is something you can never
really get over,'' he said.
``I was relieved that something was being done.
``A paedophile victim suffers for the rest of their lives.
``You question your own sexuality and whether you might be inclined to become a paedophile yourself.
``I attempted suicide at 20, started taking drugs at 15. My education went from near the top to the bottom
of the grade.
``At the time, I didn't know what was wrong with me.''
(*Not his real name)
Parole Board says Goldsmith not able to leave
The Parole Board says one of Tasmania's worst paedophilies has no plans to work with
underprivileged children in Africa.
Paul Ronald Goldsmith abused 20 teenage boys on Tasmania's north-west coast during the
1970s and 1980s.
The 65-year-old has now been granted parole after serving four years of a six-and-a-half-year
The group, Beyond Abuse, says it has been told Goldsmith is learning an African language and
plans to travel there to work with children.
But the chairman of the Parole Board, Andrew McKee, says Goldsmith told the board he has no
Mr McKee says while on parole for the next two years Goldsmith will not be able to leave the
state without permission and will not be permitted to leave the country.
Beyond Abuse is disappointed Goldsmith is on parole.
"To have him be paroled early is just just amazing news and something that I think has to be
looked at," he said.
"I mean people in this type of position that have committed this amount of heinous crimes like
this should serve their whole sentence and not be paroled."
Sex abuse coach set free
A prolific North-West sex offender who molested 20 young boys while employed as a high school sports
coach has been granted parole.
Paul Ronald Goldsmith, 65, was sentenced to six-and-a- half years' jail in late 2005 for a string of
sex crimes committed between 1976 and 1987 against boys aged between 13 and 16.
At the time of his sentencing, the Supreme Court heard the Shearwater man had used his coaching position
at Marist College and his involvement with numerous youth groups to access and groom his victims.
He also trained as a priest, but was never ordained.
The court heard Goldsmith's "open home policy" gave child visitors unlimited access to alcohol and
cigarettes and included strip poker sessions that ended in masturbation and oral sex once the boys
and Goldsmith were naked.
His lawyer told the court that Goldsmith had been aware of his sexual interest in young boys since
he was 15, but had "resisted" for many years before the coaching job "forced him to give in to his
Goldsmith would give one of his victims regular "rub- downs" after training and sexually assaulted
another on six different occasions.
In total, he was convicted on 36 counts of indecent assault, four counts of maintaining a sexual
relationship with a young person under 17, one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of
unlawful sexual intercourse with a young person.
Speaking after the sentence was handed down, one victim's father admitted he had considered cutting
off Goldsmith's genitals.
"Quite often of a night I would put my knife in my pocket, and a couple of times I went to his
driveway - I was going to castrate him," he said.
Outside the court, another victim said he had contemplated suicide and described
"intense hatred" for his abuser.
"He made me feel so guilty so I wouldn't say anything," he said.
The Parole Board said it had taken several factors into account before granting
Goldsmith's release, including his own written submission, references, his "exemplary"
prison record and a written report from prison sex offender program New Directions.
His victims provided the Parole Board with statements detailing the horrific and
ongoing impact of the abuse, and requested that he be prevented from contacting them.
The board granted the request and further ordered that Goldsmith have no contact
with anyone under the age of 17 "without appropriate supervision" during his
parole period - which ends in June 2012.
Sex fiend refuses rehab course
North-west child sex monster Paul Ronald Goldsmith can't wait to get out of jail and go
to an African mission farm with access to children, a former prisoner has claimed.
"When he gets out he says he's going ... to a mission," ex- Risdon inmate Bruce told The Advocate.
"He says he's going to run a farm for a religious group." Bruce claimed notorious sex predator
Goldsmith had refused to do a sex offenders' treatment program in jail.
While Goldsmith had admitted his crimes, he did not believe they were wrong, Bruce said.
Goldsmith was jailed for six- and-a-half years in November 2006.
He had pleaded guilty to 36 counts of indecent assault, four counts of maintaining a
sexual relationship with a person under 17, one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count
of unlawful sexual intercourse with a young person.
He used his membership of various youth groups to meet and befriend young boys.
He was convicted over incidents which occurred between 1976 and 1987, involving 20 boys aged 13-16.
Bruce said Goldsmith was a protected species in jail and appeared to be aided by his connections to
the Catholic church. "He has father this or father that come in, and nuns.
"He complains and it changes. "He's got that much pull."
Prison authorities would not comment on the claims, saying there was a policy of no comment
on individual prisoners.
Catholic Archbishop Adrian Doyle said the church's only involvement with
Goldsmith would be through a prison ministry service.
"The Catholic church in Tasmania has no connection with the prisoner,
aside from the ministry as outlined above, and has no input into conditions
of his incarceration or his alleged plans for the future."
Victims' advocate Steve Fisher, from Beyond Abuse, said the sex offenders'
program must be made compulsory.
"Their rationale is if you force them to do it they are not going to do the right things anyway,
which is ridiculous to me."
He said sex offenders should not be let out until they had "passed" the program.
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