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Grandfather To Plead Guilty On 40 Charges

A 52-YEAR-old grandfather from Palmerston in the Northern Territory has indicated he will plead guilty to at least 40 child sex offences in the Supreme Court.
The man, who cannot be named, faced a committal hearing in the Darwin Magistrates Court yesterday.
Magistrate David Loadman found there was enough evidence to refer his case to the Supreme Court.
Prosecutor Mark Heffernan claimed the man indecently dealt with his granddaughter and six of her school friends between 1996 and 2005. The alleged victims were all aged under 12 years, with one 10 years old.
The charges against the man include attempted sexual intercourse with a child aged under 16 years, sexual intercourse without consent and maintaining a sexual relationship with a child aged under 16 years.
Other charges include:
INTENTIONALLY exposing a child to an indecent object, film, video or book;
INDECENTLY dealing with children aged under 12 years;
TAKING or recording an indecent image of a child aged under 12 years;
COMMITTING an act of gross indecency on a girl aged under 14; and UNLAWFULLY procuring a child under 16 to perform indecent acts.
The 52-year-old was remanded in custody to appear at an arraignment in the Supreme Court in March.
Defence lawyer Alan Woodcock asked that he be allowed to appear by video link instead of being physically brought to court.
The defendant applied for bail in December 2005 on the grounds he was possibly suffering from lung cancer. But magistrate Greg Cavanagh refused because of the seriousness of the charges.
The man did not make a bail application yesterday.

Northern Territory News (10-2-2006)
Rebecca Hewett

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