A PERVERT who performed sex acts in front of children on four separate occasions has avoided a jail term and is not a further offending risk, the District Court sitting in Warwick has heard.
The 62-year-old, who by law cannot be named as it could identify the children, pleaded guilty on Thursday to committing indecent acts.
Three of the acts took place at Inglewood last year and one at Oakey in 2008 and all involved children aged under 16 and some under 12.
Crown Prosecutor Isaac Munsie said the first Inglewood offence took place last April, when the man was naked in his backyard and masturbated in view of a 12-year-old boy next door.
The boy told his mother and she also observed the man naked in the yard.
The court then heard that, on or about Anzac Day last year, two girls aged nine and 10 rode their bikes to an Inglewood park where the man was reading a newspaper at a picnic table. The girls told police he was wearing blue zip-up shorts, which he undid to expose his penis and masturbate in front of them.
In the same park, on May 2 last year, two girls also aged nine and 10 and part of a group of dozen children, also observed the man at a picnic table and he again performed the act.
The Oakey incident took place in May 2008, when the man was shirtless in his front yard and masturbated in front of two girls under 16 who were walking along the street, laughing as he did so.
On all occasions when spoken to by police the man denied he had performed the acts, saying the children must have been “mistaken”.
Mr Munsie proposed Judge Irwin sentence the man to a jail term of 12 months, to serve three or four months actual time with the balance suspended.
He also suggested that the man, who sobbed continually during sentencing, be subject to reporting under the Child Protection Act.
Judge Irwin said that after “anxious consideration” he believed there were exceptional circumstances allowing him to sentence the man to a fully suspended term.
His Honour said he accepted the offences were “spontaneous”, that the man had led an “otherwise blameless life” and had chronic health issues which would make jail more difficult for him than for other offenders.
He acknowledged the man had suffered financially as a result of being forced to sell his Inglewood home at a loss after being charged.
He also said there was no evidence the children had suffered psychological damage, they had not been in close proximity to the man when he performed the acts and he was satisfied the 62- year-old did not pose a risk of similar offending in future.
But Judge Irwin warned the man that if he breached his suspended sentence, he would almost certainly go to jail “no matter how long you sit in the dock and cry”.
The hearing brought to a close a two-week sitting of the District Court in Warwick, which included a trial of a man charged with the rape of his daughter which was called off after six days of legal argument.
The court is next due in Warwick in September.
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