Child-sex offender walking free

CONVICTED child-sex offender David Leslie Wharton has been free to walk the streets for the past 10 days despite the Attorney-General Cameron Dick successfully appealing for the 68-year-old to be sent back to jail.

The retired Maryborough school teacher was convicted in September of indecently dealing with three boys during camping trips between 2004 and 2008.

But District Court Judge Michael Noud decided the 114 days Wharton had spent in pre-sentence custody was sufficient punishment.

Wharton was released on a suspended jail term.

Attorney-General Cameron Dick appealed the sentence and on December 22 the Court of Appeal ordered Wharton serve a total of eight months in jail for the offences.

But rather than police arresting Wharton on December 22, he was allowed to stay in the community.

The court ordered the warrant for Wharton’s arrest was to lie on file in the registry for seven days.

Wharton still had not been arrested yesterday morning.

A Corrective Services spokesman confirmed Wharton had not spent any time in custody since his September 3 release date.

Wharton was going to be arrested and taken into custody yesterday, the spokesman told the Chronicle.

Calls to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General went unanswered yesterday.

Wharton has a history of child-sex offences.

In 2008 he pleaded guilty to indecently dealing with a 14-year-old boy in the 1980s.

He paid the boy to strip in front of him.

Wharton’s more recent offences related to three boys and involved the boys injecting drugs into his penis and him masturbating in front of the children.



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