Accused sex offender denied use of internet

A URANGAN man charged with sex offences has had his application to use the internet denied.

The 67-year-old man on Thursday applied to the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to have his bail conditions changed in order to use social media, pay bills and shop online.

Magistrate Dean Wilkinson denied the application.

The man, who the Chronicle has not named in order to protect the victim, is charged with grooming a child under 16 for sexual acts and using the internet to procure a child for sexual activity.

Defence lawyer Daniel Ould said the man had a number of friends who lived overseas who he communicated with via social media and his main hobby involved computers and computer engineering.

"Much of his social interaction is using these because he is an elderly man with a number of health problems and he is somewhat housebound," he said.

Mr Ould said the man was also preferred to shop and pay his bills online as he did not like to be outside of the house in daylight hours due to a long history of skin cancer.

The man also applied to have the imposed curfew hours changed in  order to walk his dogs outside of the head of the day.

He is currently required to remain at home between 7pm and 7am.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Tracy Wall opposed the application due to the types of crimes involved and reducing the risk of possible offending.

She said she did not believe the man had reason enough to be able to use the internet.

"(Bills) can be paid at the post office and he can go to the shops in the area," she said.

Mr Wilkinson agreed and ordered no changes be made to the bail conditions.

"These bail conditions were put in place for a reason," he said.

The man will appear in court on November 26 for a committal mention.



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