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Give The Law Power Over Paedophiles

THE public safety of innocent children must be the primary concern of any decent community.
Yet it seems in the case of serial pedophile Phillip Corlett Cryer, and presumably others, the legal system has limited powers to ensure he will not offend again.
Cryer, who has 31 convictions mainly involving the sexual abuse of boys, rented a house beside a primary school at Elizabeth North. It took authorities two months to obtain an order forcing him to find alternative accommodation. This situation should not have been allowed to occur.
Few people would accept that Cryer did not deliberately seek accommodation near the school. Obviously children were at risk.
One child at risk is one too many,
This is not intended as a witch hunt against Cryer. It is intended to draw to the attention of the broader public that there are loopholes in the law which put children in jeopardy.
The courts must use powers at their discretion to issue orders preventing pedophiles, particularly repeat offenders, from approaching children.
Police must have the authority and capacity to act decisively to guarantee that those court orders are enforced and that children are safe.
Serial pedophiles, by persistently breaching community trust, have forfeited the right to normal civil liberties.
In Queensland this week the Supreme Court rejected a bid to have a law allowing dangerous sex offenders and pedophiles to be jailed indefinitely declared constitutionally invalid. In other words judges in Queensland can keep sex offenders, including pedophiles, in Jail at the end of their predetermined sentence if they are deemed to be a public danger.
It is a harsh law giving widespread discretion to the courts and limiting the basic rights of offenders.
But that is surely preferable to allowing a pedophile to live beside a school.

Adelaide Advertiser (12-7-2003)

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