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Australian Politicians/ Contacts
Justice system flushes out pedophile artist Clifford Frith's dirty little secret
They waited years to see their tormentor punished for his crimes, fearful his fame and public profile would allow
him to escape justice.
The victims of Clifford John Frith yesterday wept and hugged as the renowned artist was jailed for 18 months.
The District Court said Frith, 86, wore his reputation like a mask to commit "odious" crimes against innocence.
Outside court, the women said the sentence should encourage other victims to come forward.
"It's our hope others can see it's OK to speak out against these crimes," they said. "People will believe you,
there is a system that will help support you."
Frith, of Henley Beach, committed acts of gross indecency against two girls at his seaside home between January
1990 and September 1992.
He took one girl into his shed and forced her to touch his penis in what was known as "the mousey game".
That girl also was forced to touch Frith's penis in the shower in "the name game".
Frith caused another girl to disrobe in his studio between January 1987 and December 1991.
Frith continues to protest his innocence. Prosecutors have told the court Frith tells "anyone who will listen"
his victims are liars who "just want his money".
In sentencing, Judge David Smith said he paid no regard to such "tawdry allegations".
Defence counsel had asked that Frith be allowed to serve his sentence under home detention. Judge David Smith
said that was unjustified.
"You do not accept the correctness of my verdicts (of guilt)," he said. "You have told doctors you only pleaded
guilty to (the studio offences) because you could not stand the ongoing stress of the legal proceedings."
He said Frith's actions had permanently scarred both girls. "Your good standing was, effectively, a mask for your
odious conduct and the crimes you were committing," he said.
He ordered Frith to serve 18 months in jail, with a six-month non-parole period. Outside court, the victims said
that sentence was appropriate. "The truth has been told and now everybody knows. It's no longer his dirty little
secret to keep," they said. "Finally, we have justice, and we can pick up the pieces and move on with our lives."
Paedophile artist Clifford Frith wants to be jailed in Henley Beach mansion
Clifford Firth's house at Henley Beach.
Clifford Frith built his international artistic career from the comfort of his seafront home - now the convicted paedophile wants to be jailed there.
Lawyers for Frith yesterday asked the District Court to convert any sentence imposed upon their client to home detention.
They said jailing Frith - who is 86, and has health issues - would be unduly harsh.
Frith committed acts of gross indecency against two girls at Henley Beach between January 1990 and September 1992. He took the girls into
his shed and shower, then forced them to touch his penis in what was known as "the mousey game".
Frith has also admitted causing another girl to disrobe between January 1987 and December 1991.
Yesterday Lindy Powell, QC, for Frith, said jailing her client would be "unduly harsh".
She said his advanced age and ill health made him eligible, under state law, to serve his penalty as home detention rather than in custody.
The Advertiser understands Frith's home, at Henley Beach, has sea frontage and a built-in art studio.
Peter Longson, prosecuting, said Frith was "no different" than any other pensioner. "His disorders of old age don't require intensive,
ongoing treatment or hospitalisation," he said.
"There's nothing (wrong with Frith) that can't be dealt with under the prison health system.
"The circumstances of this case don't come within cooee of being unduly harsh."
Mr Longson said Frith's problems were of his own making. "He's depressed - and if he wasn't, there would be something wrong with him," he said.
"He doesn't want to spend a single day in Yatala prison, and it's understandable that would make anyone depressed.
"(Frith still) has the temerity to go around and tell anyone who will listen that the victims are liars, that they just want his money."
Judge David Smith remanded Frith on continuing bail for sentencing in two weeks.
Adelaide Advertiser (16-6-2011)
Arist Clifford Frith deserves jail: court
Award winning artist Clifford Frith is depressed about going to jail but it's his own fault for abusing
young girls, a court was told.
Lawyers for Frith, 86, accepts a jail sentence is inevitable after he pleaded guilty
to gross indecency charges.
But his lawyer Lindy Powell QC, asked the District Court of South Australia on Wednesday
to consider home detention because he is sick, frail and depressed so jail would be unduly harsh.
Frith is accused of making two girls touch his penis at Henley Beach between January 1990
and September 1992 under the guise of a game.
Prosecutor Peter Longson opposed home detention on Wednesday, saying jail for Frith was
"not within a cooee of being unduly harsh".
Frith was only suffering from old age and had enjoyed 20 years of good health between
offending and being called to account, Mr Longson said.
"Frith is no different than anyone else who sits in that dock without knowing what their
future is," he said.
"He doesn't want to spend a single day in Yatala prison ... that's understandable, that
would make anyone depressed."
Mr Longson said Frith's actions had brought him to court but he was still telling
"anyone who would listen" the girls were liars, making up stories for money.
He said it was almost a tragedy Frith's pride was preventing him from admitting his conduct.
Judge David Smith suggested Frith had already suffered enormous penalty, from the long,
arduous public shaming.
He will sentence Frith on June 29.
Artist Clifford Frith admits to sex offences
Clifford Frith at an earlier court appearance.
HE was a shining light of the arts scene, a gifted sculptor and painter whose works were displayed around the world.
But behind the acclaim, Clifford Frith was a paedophile who groomed girls to play "the mousey game" with him in the shower.
For the first time, The Advertiser can reveal details of Frith's crimes, which have been wrapped in suppression orders since 2009.
Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to two counts of inciting a child to expose her body. Last year, he was found guilty at trial of two counts of gross indecency.
Frith's counsel has sought mercy, saying it would be "cruel and unusual" to jail their cancer-ridden, psychologically ill client.
Peter Longson, prosecuting, said Frith should be treated the same as paedophile former magistrate Peter Liddy and former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld, who was jailed for perjury.
"It was put to the court that Frith is held in high esteem in the art circle, and that is no doubt true, but it is not a 'get out of jail free' card," he said.
"Peter Liddy no doubt had years to offer the judiciary, Marcus Einfeld was a living national treasure, and both of those men fell enormous lengths."
Frith committed acts of gross indecency against two girls at Henley Beach between January 1990 and September 1992.
He took the girls into his shed and shower, then forced them to touch his penis in what was known as "the mousey game".
Frith yesterday admitted causing another girl to disrobe between January 1987 and December 1991. During submissions in March, Mr Longson called Frith's actions a gross breach of trust.
Yesterday, Frith, 86, was remanded on continuing bail for sentencing in three weeks.
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