MAKO - Australian News - Peter Penney
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Convicted sex offender Peter Penney tried to abduct 14yo boy from sandpit at Pakenham park, court hears
A 75-year-old man charged with attempting to abduct a 14-year-old boy
from a Pakenham park is a convicted sex offender, a court has heard.
Peter Penney, of Dandenong, appeared briefly this morning at the Dandenong
Magistrates' Court charged with attempting abduct a child, unlawful imprisonment of
a child, and being a convicted sex offender loitering at a park frequented by children.
He is accused of attempting to abduct the boy who was in the company of his
eight-year-old sister playing in a sand pit in the park.
The boy made a complaint to police, and Mr Penney was arrested later that evening.
Mr Penney, who the court heard has low intellectual functioning, was
remanded in custody to reappear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.
Parents Kept In Dark As Pedophile Stalks Schools
A pedophile stalked Melbourne schools for more than two weeks - and tens of
thousands of parents were not notified.
The shock revelation has sparked calls for a rule requiring every principal to
tell all parents about pedophile threats.
The Victorian Education Department issued an alert to 249 schools in the eastern
suburbs after police identified the man as a known child sex offender.
But some schools posted the warning only in staff rooms, leaving parents and pupils
in the dark. At one school, students were told of the threat, but parents were not.
Parents and child protection groups have criticised the department for refusing
parents of the right to protect their children.
Pedophile Peter Gordon Penney - who has a record and a history of indecent
exposure - last month travelled across Melbourne's east, lurking around schools.
The 67-year-old focused on four schools from Ferntree Gully to Pakenham. His
actions led to nine criminal charges and last week landed him in jail.
Penney was first seen loitering suspiciously outside a school on April 11,
but police did not receive details that enabled them to identify him for about
On Anzac Day, Penney repeatedly approached children playing inside a school's
grounds and tried to befriend them. The children reported the man to the attendant
at a nearby milk bar. Police were contacted.
The breakthrough for police came when a witness recorded the registration number of
Penney's car. Detectives immediately notified the Education Department of the danger.
A department spokeswoman said an alert on Penney had been sent to schools on April
26. The matter had been left in the hands of principals.
"The alerts are sent to principals who are best placed to respond appropriately,"
the spokeswoman said. "Principals are responsible for the safety of students."
Anti-child abuse group Childwise said it was wrong not to inform parents directly.
Penney was arrested on April 30.
Sunday Herald Sun (13-5-2007)
Liam Houlihan/ Kelvin Healey
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