Five kids at sex offenders house
A CONVICTED child-sex offender has appeared in court after police went to his Hervey Bay home and found him alone with five young children.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court this week charged with failing to comply with reporting.
Police went to the 42-year-old’s Point Vernon home on November 1 and found him supervising a seven-month-old child and four other young children, the court was told.
The man is a father to eight and he is the father of each of the kids found at his home.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Jeanette Grigoris said the man received a suspended jail sentence in February of this year for “sex offences against children” and was in breach of his reporting obligations when police visited his home for a compliance check.
Under Queensland law, sex offenders must provide their personal details to a national register which allows police to track their whereabouts.
They must report any changes of address or personal details and provide to police the details of unsupervised access to children at home or elsewhere.
The Bay man had also failed to inform police that he had had another child since being placed on the register, Senior Constable Grigoris said.
The man told police that five of the children, including the seven-month-old baby, were living with him and that the other three, aged six, three and three, stayed with him for unsupervised visits most weekends.
Defence lawyer Michael Riedel said his client “didn’t really understand” that the reporting obligations included his own children.
Mr Riedel said the man’s ex-partner regularly dropped the kids off at his home and, despite it being he who primarily cared for the eight, she was the one receiving benefits.
The man told Magistrate Tom Killeen that his failure to report was an honest mistake and that he meant no disrespect to the court.
He was convicted and fined $300 for the charge.
It is understood the case will be referred back to the Hervey Bay District Court, where it will be decided if the children should be relocated.