Love letter child rapist moves to Toowoomba
ATTORNEY-General Jarrod Bleijie has moved to close a loophole in the law which allowed a convicted child rapist, who currently lives in Toowoomba, to send his young Sunshine Coast victim a love letter from behind bars.
The move comes in direct response to a series of articles published earlier this year in the Sunshine Coast Daily which highlighted the loophole and the boy's mother's disgust and trauma at it being allowed to happen.
He then sent his then eight-year-old victim a letter from jail in which he said he loved him and outlined how much he was suffering inside prison.
But under changes to the Corrective Services Act, introduced into State Parliament this week, it is now illegal for any prisoner to send, or attempt to send, distressing or traumatic correspondence to their victim or their victim's family.
Correspondence includes any documents, letters, emails or faxes.
The new offence now carries a sentence of up to six months behind bars.
The Sunshine Coast mother, who cannot be identified in order to protect her son's identity, said she was extremely pleased the loophole had been closed.
"It is a great result. It is a pity we had to go through it all, but it is awesome no other Queensland victim or their family will have to go through the type of distress and trauma that we did," she said.
"Honestly ... I am pretty happy about it."
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Mr Bleijie said he was shocked as everyone else when he found out via the Sunshine Coast Daily articles in May that McCoy had sent a letter to his young victim.
He said it was his duty to ensure Queensland families remained safe from predators from both inside and outside of prison.
Breavehearts founder Hetty Johnston said she was thrilled the government had responded to the community outrage McCoy sparked and introduced legislation that better protects survivors of this type of crime.
"One can only imagine how traumatising and triggering it would be for a victim to receive unwanted correspondence from an offender," she said.
"It is another attempt to manipulate and disempower them.
"This is a sensible, logical outcome, a win for victims and hopefully a deterrent for offenders." McCoy was released on parole last month.