MAKO - Australian News - Ricky McLennan

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Ricky McLennan case: Two-year investigation draws to an end

Justice: Ricky McLennan was yesterday sentenced to 15 years’ jail for sex offences against young women.

Ricky McLennan’s sentencing ends a two-year investigation for Bendigo’s Victoria Police Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team.
Leading Senior Constable Sharyn Stewart, Detective Sergeant Matthew Gildea and Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Morris have been working on the case since the first victim came to police in January 2010.
Another of McLennan’s victims came forward two weeks later.
Newspaper reports of sexual assault charges against McLennan in November 2010 led a fourth victim to police.
Detective Senior Sergeant Morris said by their nature, sex offences often took more work than other crimes.
“They are really complex matters as far as criminal law goes,” he said.
“Sexual offending is the most complex part because of the procedures and the procedural rules that exist, and the changes in the legislation over the years.’’
Leading Senior Constable Stewart said putting together the case had taken a lot of time.
“It’s putting together all the witness statements; there was more than 40,” she said.
“I was talking to the victims regularly.
“And then there’s all the peripheral work around scene diagrams and scene photographs. Then attending all the different court dates.”
Many of McLennan’s victims and their families said they were grateful for Leading Senior Constable Stewart’s support throughout the case.
Leading Senior Constable Stewart said victims of sex crime often found it difficult to attend court.
“They have to talk about something very personal,” she said.
“It takes a lot to stand up and talk about it in front of a jury.
“I certainly felt a sense of relief for the girls today.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Morris said there had been a lot of changes in recent years to make sure victims had greater access to the court.
He said positive changes included allowing victims to give witness statements remotely, speeding up trial timelines and changing the way sex offences were handled by police.
“The whole idea of the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigations Team is that they are supposed to be more supportive of the victims and reduce the trauma by having just one point of contact for the victim,” Detective Senior Sergeant Morris said.
“We follow the thing the whole way through. They don’t have to have their story told over and over to ten different people.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Morris said ultimately police members had to stay impartial, seeking the truth in the hope justice would be served.
“At the end of the day our allegiance is to the truth of what occurred and that’s what we present in court,” he said.
“You have to have faith in the justice system.
“This is the community holding these people to account and exacting the punishment that is available.” (8-3-2012)
Elise Snashall-Woodhams

Sex predator Ricky McLennan jailed for 15 years

A County Court judge broke down yesterday after sentencing sexual predator Ricky “Dave” McLennan to 15 years and four months’ jail for a series of sex offences against young women.
Judge Irene Lawson was choked with tears when she told each of McLennan’s female victims how brave they had been. “The thing I will take away from it is the courage of the girls,” she said.
“You all strike me as very remarkable girls.”
Over a six-week trial, which included three separate indictments and two juries, McLennan was found guilty of 19 counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16, two counts of attempted sexual penetration of a child under 16, four counts of committing an indecent act with a child under 16, one count of indecent assault and three child pornography charges.
The charges related to four victims, the youngest 11 at the time.
The incidents stretched back to 2005 when McLennan groomed two sisters – aged 13 and 15 – for a sexual relationship.
McLennan, owner of Epsom business Cowboy World now known as Wrangler Shop, pleaded not guilty to all charges.
He pleaded guilty to the final indecent assault charge after two separate juries found him guilty of 29 offences spanning the first two indictments.
Ms Lawson said apart from that late plea there was nothing she could take into account to lessen McLennan’s sentence.
“A clear message needs to be sent by this court that offences against children in this matter will be handled with the utmost severity,” she said.
McLennan was sentenced to 15 years and four months jail, with a non-parole period of 12 years.
He was sentenced as a serious sex offender and will be placed on the sex offender register for life.

Elise Snashall-Woodhams

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