Crisis In The Family Courts

Girls Ordered to Spend Weekends with Sex Offender Father

Posted in domestic law by abatteredmother on March 15, 2010

 

From:The Australian

March 14, 2010 10:22pm

Child hand generic

A court has ordered two girls to spend weekends with their sex offender father.

  • Judge says girls need protection at night
  • Eldest is afraid to stay overnight at father’s
  • Man was convicted of child porn offences

A COURT has ordered two young girls to spend weekends with their sex offender father provided he puts a door on their bedroom they can lock.

Judge Robert Benjamin, in the Family Court’s Hobart branch, ruled that the girls "need some protection from (their father), particularly at night".

However, the risk of sexual abuse was "diminished when they are awake and alert".

Judge Benjamin said that the father, who was convicted of downloading child pornography, must have an "adult friend" stay with him when the girls stayed overnight.

He added that until the youngest turned 14, the girls must "share the same room so they can have the mutual support of one another".

A Family Court counsellor said that the girls, aged ten and eight, "are at an age and maturity when awake, dressed and together it would be unlikely the father would act inappropriately toward them".

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"However, at night, when they were asleep or partly asleep and not aware of each other’s whereabouts, they would be less secure."

The case has outraged women’s groups, who say it puts the girls at risk to satisfy the father’s desire to see them.

The eldest girl has told counsellors that she was afraid to stay overnight with her father.

The father was convicted in 2007 of three child pornography offences, including filming images of child pornography on his computer. He also created links and shortcuts to child porn sites.

In sentencing the man for the offences, a judge in Tasmania said he was "far from convinced" he posed no risk to children and put his name on the sex offenders register for five years.

His wife left him, and has since been fighting to restrict his access to their two daughters.

The Family Court found the father had invited one of the girls into his bed, and had "demonstrated affection toward her in a way that was, in all the circumstances, inappropriate for a child of that age".

The eldest girl told counsellors

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