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New Laws Introduced to State Parliament to Keep Sex Attackers Behind Bars Even After They Have Served Their Sentence

TOUGH new laws introduced to the Victorian parliament will allow authorities to keep high-risk sex offenders in jail even after they have served their sentence.
Corrections Minister Bob Cameron said the new laws give courts the power to detain sex offenders for up to three years if they are deemed to present an unacceptable risk to the community.
Under current laws, Victoria's most serious sex offenders can be put under extended supervision orders, restricting their movements in the community and imposing conditions such as electronic monitoring and location restrictions.
Under the new scheme, serious offenders could remain behind bars for up to three years.
The prison term could be extended even further if the offender was still considered a sufficiently high risk.
"Victoria already has strict monitoring for serious sex offenders who have completed their sentence and now this scheme has been bolstered to further protect the community," Mr Cameron said.
"The new laws will also give police additional powers to arrest an offender who has breached a condition of their supervision order, or take action if there is an imminent risk of such a breach.''

AAP (12-11-2009)

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Tough Laws to Keep Sex Offenders in Jail

HIGH-risk sex offenders could be kept in jail even after their sentences have finished under tough new laws introduced to the Victorian Parliament today.
State Corrections Minister Bob Cameron says the new laws give courts the power to detain sex offenders for up to three years if they present an unacceptable risk to the community.
Under current laws, Victoria's most serious sex offenders can be put under extended supervision orders restricting their movements in the community and imposing conditions such as electronic monitoring and location restrictions.
Crime Victims Support Association spokesman Noel McNamara said the new laws should be introduced Australia-wide.
"There should be more of it throughout the nation," Mr McNamara said.
"It protects our children and keeps these people inside the jails."
Victorian child sex offenders Brian Keith Jones, also known as Mr Baldy, and Robin Fletcher, are living within the walls of Ararat Prison on extended supervision orders restricting their movements and contact with people.
Under the new scheme, serious offenders would face the prospect of remaining behind bars as a prisoner for up to three years.
And this could be extended if the offender was still considered too high a risk to be released, even under supervision.
"Victoria already has strict monitoring for serious sex offenders who have completed their sentence, and now this scheme has been bolstered to further protect the community," Mr Cameron said.
"The new laws will also give police additional powers to arrest an offender who has breached a condition of their supervision order, or take action if there is an imminent risk of such a breach."

AAP (12-11-2009)

Bill To Hit Abusers

CHILD sex offenders will have up to 15 years added to their jail terms under tough new laws to be introduced in Victorian Parliament this week.
The maximum penalty for offenders who sexually assault children younger than 12 will be lifted from 10 to 25 years under the legislation to be announced on Tuesday.
Currently, the maximum 25-year penalty is handed only to paedophiles who sexually assault children younger than 10.
Under the new legislation, sexual penetration of a child aged 12-16 years will carry a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail. When the child is aged between 12 and 16 and is under the care, supervision or authority of the offender, the maximum penalty will be 15 years' jail.
The Brumby Government was spurred into tightening the state's child sex laws after Stephen Maurice broke into the home of a girl, 10, and attacked her in her bed.
Victorians were outraged when Maurice received a maximum nine-year term because the offence took place two weeks after the girl's 10th birthday.
If the attack had occurred two weeks earlier he could have been locked away for 25 years. Attorney-General Rob Hulls said he had "no doubt" the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill would lead to fewer sex crimes against children.
"It sends a pretty strong message to the community and judiciary," he said.
"Sexual offences against children ... deserve the most stringent of penalties.
"It is right that offenders face the full force of the law, particularly when the victim is a child - one of the most vulnerable members of our society."
Mr Hulls will introduce the Bill on Tuesday and it will be debated next year.
"I expect it will receive bipartisan support," he said.

Sunday Herald Sun (6-12-2009)
Peter Rolfe

EXCLUSIVE: JUDGES have been warned not to ignore the will of the people when jailing child molesters.

Court of Appeal Lashes Judges on Child Sex Offenders

The Court of Appeal sent a powerful message that judges' sentences in such cases were generally inadequate.
It did so as it ordered big increases in the jail terms of two prisoners for horrendous sexual abuse of children.
In one case, the appeal judges more than doubled the prison sentence to six years. They said the original penalty was "so disproportionate to the seriousness of the crimes as to shock the public conscience".
The appeal court said sentences imposed in child sex assault cases in recent years suggested judges were not giving appropriate weight to the maximum penalties set by Parliament.
The heaviest sentence in the past seven years for sexual penetration of a child under 10 was 6 1/2 years, which was "difficult to reconcile" with the statutory maximum of 25 years.
"The discretion which a sentencing judge has in dealing with a particular offender is a vital part of the administration of criminal justice," one of the Court of Appeal judges said.
"But sentencing judges may not disregard the will of Parliament as expressed in the fixing of the maximum penalty."
The court said the maximum of 25 years' jail reflected public revulsion for sex crimes against children.
The County Court judges whose sentences were overturned were Judge Jeanette Morrish and Judge Frances Millane.
Judge Morrish sentenced a 38-year-old man, who pleaded guilty to sexual penetration of two girls aged six and three, to 2 1/2 years' jail with a non-parole period of 15 months. The Court of Appeal increased the sentence to six years, with a minimum of four years.
The Court of Appeal said the 30-month maximum sentence imposed by the judge for all six offences was only 12 per cent of the maximum available for a single count, and showed the sentences were "out of whack".


Herald Sun (29-5-2009)
Geoff Wilkinson


 
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