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Pedophile 'Tests' in Shopping Malls

A PEDOPHILE on community leave tried to touch a little girl in a supermarket - but Victoria Police and the girl's parents were not told.
The cover-up by authorities comes despite the man having a history of preying on little girls - including one he indecently assaulted while working as a trolley collector in another supermarket.
The incident happened two weeks ago when the 48-year-old intellectually disabled sex offender was on an escorted shopping trip as part of his reintegration into society.
And despite the alarming similarities between this incident and the one that landed him in the sex offender program about seven years ago, disability managers didn't report it to police, the girl's parents or Mental Health Minister Lisa Neville.
The man is one of about 15 of the state's most dangerous and difficult-to-manage intellectually disabled sex offenders allowed out on escorted trips and other community visits several times a week, mostly in the Fairfield, Heidelberg and Northcote areas.
The sex offenders usually go shopping at Northland, Northcote Plaza, Epping Plaza, Bell St in Heidelberg, and Fairfield's Station St, accompanied by a staff member who keeps an eye on the men to see how they react to the hundreds of children they see.
The men mostly live at a secure centre at Fairfield.
A Fairfield insider said the children were being used as guinea pigs to see if the sex offenders were ready to be released back into society.
"You're gambling with people's kids," the insider said.
"When they come back, you ask them, 'Did you see that kid in the shop and did you have any feelings at all?'
"It's not right. You see them staring at them (the children), but they say, 'No, I didn't get aroused'.
"They know the ropes. Most of them have come from jail."
The insider said Victorians would be horrified to know the offenders were being exposed to children in order to test their reactions.
The men are housed at the Disability Forensic Assessment and Treatment Service secure centre at Fairfield, next door to the Thomas Embling Hospital, where two intellectually disabled detainees were stabbed to death, allegedly by a fellow detainee, during the week. Both centres cater for people who are in the criminal justice system, but are deemed to be intellectually disabled.
Three sex offenders escaped from the DFATS centre in January 2007, including Darren Seiler, who sexually abused a child on a previous escape, and Raymond Warford, a repeat sex offender.
Other intellectually disabled sex offenders live at a halfway house in Thornbury, where neighbours have no idea about the history of the men living next door. The men were previously housed in Bellfield, where the neighbours were also kept in the dark.
The recent incident involving the girl happened when the man and a support worker were in the checkout queue at the Safeway supermarket in Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe.
The man had been granted community leave to do his personal shopping.
A young mother joined the queue behind him with a toddler in a shopping trolley.
The little girl innocently called out to the man and stretched out her hand towards him.
In breach of his treatment program, which tells him to immediately walk away, the man instead reacted to the girl and reached out for her hands.
There is dispute about whether he touched her before his support worker intervened.
While the move was non-sexual, it was considered such a serious breach that the man's community leave was immediately suspended. But DFATS did not tell the girl's mother and did not notify police or Minister Neville.
The Sunday Herald Sun can now reveal that the man has a history of assaulting several young girls under the age of 10 years.
One of them was assaulted at a supermarket where the man previously worked as a trolley collector.
Sources said DFATS management encouraged a culture of down-grading incidents so they did not have to be reported to the Minister.
Ms Neville said she had faith in the system, which "focused" on community safety and offender rehabilitation.
"If an offender with an intellectual disability is sentenced to DFATS, a treatment plan is drawn up by a clinical expert," Ms Neville said.
"The decision to grant leave is permitted only after thorough and expert consideration."

Herald Sun (8-11-2009)
Ellen Whinnett

MAKO/Files Online.. Listing Australian Convicted Paedophiles/ Sex Offenders/ Child killers.. FREE Public Service..

How Can This Be Justified?

VICTORIAN parents have an absolute right to know when convicted pedophiles are deliberately placed in the midst of their children.
Today, the Sunday Herald Sun reveals that more than a dozen of the state's most dangerous sex offenders have been regularly allowed out on shopping trips, mainly in the Fairfield, Heidelberg and Northcote areas.
The visits are escorted, but an insider informs us that the intellectually disabled sex offenders are deliberately taken to places frequented by children to test how their treatment is progressing.
This must stop immediately. Our children are not guinea pigs to be used in some bizarre social experiment that could easily backfire.
The sex offenders usually go shopping at Northland, Northcote Plaza, Epping Plaza, Bell St in Heidelberg and Station St in Fairfield.
These pedophiles are also walking the streets of Melbourne on outings to the movies, libraries and even the football.
On one recent shopping centre trip, a 48-year-old sex offender tried to make physical contact with a little girl in a supermarket queue. The man's action was not considered sexual, but it was a breach of his treatment program.
Remarkably, this offender has a history of sexually assaulting a child in a supermarket. It is beyond belief that that authorities would take such a criminal back to a supermarket.
It is also a jarring reminder that for children, there are potential dangers lurking in public places.
Most of the sex offenders are housed in a secure facility in Fairfield.
Victorian Mental Health Minister Lisa Neville - already under fire following the alleged murder of two detainees by a fellow detainee at the adjacent Thomas Embling Hospital in Fairfield- should act immediately to suspend the pedophile community-leave program.
There are, no doubt, do-gooders in bureaucracy who claim that the program is about giving convicted offenders a second chance. That argument is unlikely to impress the parents of children unwittingly placed in potential peril.
The treatment of serious sex offenders is complex and difficult. But let us not risk our children in the process.
Ms Neville says she has "faith" in the system. But the Government should never put the rights of pedophiles ahead of the rights of our children to walk and play safely in public places.
The Government should be aware of widespread public feeling on this issue. And act accordingly.

Herald Sun (8-11-2009)

Pedophiles Face Tougher Rules

SECURITY has been doubled on sex offenders who go on escorted leave in the community, after revelations intellectually disabled sex offenders were being taken shopping in Melbourne's suburbs to test their reactions to children.
Mental Health Minister Lisa Neville said the sex offenders would now be accompanied by two support workers instead of one when they went on trips for shopping, education and recreation.
But they will still be allowed out on community leave, despite widespread concern.
The direction from Ms Neville to double security came after the Sunday Herald Sun revealed pedophiles were being taken into the community to test their reactions to children as part of their rehabilitation programs.
One pedophile, who sexually assaulted a girl at the supermarket where he worked as a trolley collector, reached out to touch the hands of a girl in a supermarket in Ivanhoe this month, despite seven years in treatment.
His actions were thwarted by a support worker.
While the pedophile's community leave was suspended immediately, it has since been reinstated and he is back on community leave accompanied by a support worker.
Ms Neville said she had held discussions with her department about leave arrangements for sex offenders, who are detained and treated by the Disability Forensic Assessment and Treatment Service.
"I am concerned about the incident and asked the department to ensure that two staff are present during supervised leave, increasing security and reducing the risk of an incident," Ms Neville said.
But she said community leave for pedophiles and other sex offenders would be allowed to continue and that individual treatment plans were devised by experts and approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The Sunday Herald Sun understands VCAT would have the power to reject the two-carer rule, but would need to consider the circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
Ms Neville remained firm that community leave would not be cancelled - despite the Sunday Herald Sun revealing that two insiders at DFATS' secure complex at Fairfield believed the men were dangerous and that children were being used as guinea pigs.
"We are committed to ensuring that these people receive the treatment and rehabilitation they need to safely return to the community at the end of their sentence," she said.

Ban Paedophile Visits- THE State Government has been stung into action by the Sunday Herald Sun's story last week about pedophile trips to suburban shopping venues to see how they reacted to children.
Security has been doubled on the intellectually disabled sex offenders taken to some of Melbourne's biggest shopping centres frequented by hundreds of children.
But is it enough? Extra security would probably not comfort those living near Northland, Northcote Plaza, Epping Plaza, Bell St in Heidelberg and Station St in Fairfield - venues where the sex offenders are regularly taken to test their reactions to children, as part of their rehabilitation programs.
Most residents would surely prefer to have the pedophile visits banned.
Has the Brumby Government gone far enough? Many in the community would definitely say "no".

Sunday Herald Sun (15-11-2009)
Ellen Whinnett

Don't Let Monsters Reoffend

ALL pedophile court cases are revolting. The first one I covered as a young reporter still makes me feel sick.
Barry Gordon Hadlow was on trial in Queensland's Supreme Court for the abduction, sexual assault and murder of nine-year-old Stacey-Ann Tracy.
What the jury didn't know -- what the law wouldn't allow them to know -- was that Hadlow had committed the same crime 27 years earlier, kidnapping five-year-old Sandra Bacon from her Townsville home, before raping and killing her. The system that had sentenced him to 22 years' jail had let him go and given him the chance to do it again.
There was no mistake the second time. The jury found Hadlow guilty, locked him up and threw away the key.
Not all jailed child molesters and rapists will repeat their sickening crimes, but the fear and loathing they inspire is undeniable and unavoidable. Witness the highly charged rage of residents in Sydney's Ryde who've erected large signs and delivered a coffin to the pedophile discovered in their midst. And who can blame them? Nobody wants a pedophile in their backyard.
Except perhaps the residents of Ararat. They seem resigned to accommodating their less-than-savoury neighbours -- 22 of the most high-risk rapists and pedophiles. Labelled "the village of the damned", the transitional facility is being expanded to house 40 post-prison sex offenders.
The folks of Ararat should note the tough restrictions in the US known as Jessica's Law that prevent convicted sex offenders from living close to schools, parks and other areas where children may be. It sounds good in theory, but, as critics point out, it doesn't leave many places for them to go.
Instead, it creates bizarre communities such as the small, Californian city, Antioch. As one of the few places convicted sex offenders can live, it's home to an unbelievable 122 of them, including the now infamous Phillip Garrido, who allegedly kidnapped 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard and held her in his back yard for 18 years.
Coincidentally, the Victorian Government is trying to finalise legislation, also called Jessica's Law, after the kidnapping and rape of a Ballarat woman. How her sadistic attacker, William Craig Forde, came to be on the streets after a long history of sex offences, including three other rape convictions, is incomprehensible, but I digress.
Jessica's Law could force high-risk, more dangerous sex offenders to stay in jail after their sentence expires. The concept creates a constitutional and legal minefield that would make a lawyer's head spin.
In a similar vein, federal Opposition MP Tony Abbott suggests special institutions be built for pedophiles who have served their time.
Meantime, more than 2700 registered sex offenders are living in Victorian towns and cities. The register is hardly a safety net when all they really have to do is keep their personal details updated and not joins any clubs associated with children.
Hard-core offenders who pose an continuing risk to children or adults could cop an Extended Supervision Order, but the core requirements aren't much different from those for the Sex Offender's Register. Harsher restrictions such as electronic cuffs, internet bans and prohibited contact with children are only options. For the low-lifes who show no remorse and refuse to get treatment, they should be compulsory.
Nothing will give our children and the community guaranteed protection from these invidious predators, but convicted sex offenders, particularly pedophiles, must be subject to tougher, tighter controls. They should not be given the opportunity to commit their evil crimes again.

Sunday Herald Sun (20-9-2009)
Fleur Bitcon


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