Wharton to serve more time in jail
IN A VICTORY for justice, a convicted child sex-offender who paid teenage boys to inject erectile dysfunction medication into his penis will serve more time in jail.
David Leslie Wharton, a retired Maryborough primary school teacher, sex educator and child carer, was sentenced to two years suspended imprisonment in September this year after pleading guilty to numerous charges relating to camping trips with three boys between 2004 and 2008.
The “lenient” decision by district court Judge Michael Noud sparked uproar within the police prosecutions branch, which slammed the ruling as “totally inadequate”. The Chronicle fully supported the police and carried a front page story and the banner “Child-sex offender goes free.”
Yesterday, however, Wharton was sent back to jail after Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick was successful in an appeal of the sentence.
The decision means the 68-year-old will spend 14 months behind bars instead of just the nine-and-a-half months he has already served.
“That’s really good news,” Sergeant Craig Ryan, who pushed for the appeal, said yesterday.
In the Maryborough District Court in 2008, Wharton was jailed for three years to be released after six months when he pleaded guilty to indecent dealing with a 14-year-old boy 20 years ago.
The court heard he groomed the boy into stripping off and exercising for him. In court papers it was revealed the more clothes the boy removed the more Wharton would pay him.
“The respondent then massaged the boy and fondled his genitals,” documents said.
In the more recent offences between 2004 and 2008, the court heard, Wharton took three boys under the age of 16 on a number of camping trips and, on some occasions, supplied them with alcohol.
In 2005, he began a “dare book”, listing prizes to be awarded for sexual activities. As a result, one of the boys injected erectile dysfunction medication into the man’s penis on four separate occasions.
On one occasion after an injection, Wharton began masturbating in front of a young boy.
Wharton was sentenced to two years imprisonment to be suspended after 114 days – which had already been served in pre-sentence custody.
Yesterday, Wharton’s legal aid lawyer Mark Green argued for the suspended sentence to stay the same as one of the victims had later confronted Wharton and his wife and held them at gunpoint before firing off a shot.
However in an unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal ordered Wharton serve a total of 14 months actual imprisonment for all offences.
He has already served a total of nine-and-a-half months and will now have to serve a further four-and-a-half months.