A 20-year-old leaves the Gladstone Courthouse after he pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.
A 20-year-old leaves the Gladstone Courthouse after he pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

Sex offender walks after molesting boys aged 8 and 9

A Gladstone man convicted of molesting two young boys has walked out of court due to "exceptional circumstances."

The 20-year-old, who can't be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in Gladstone District Court on Tuesday to four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

Crown prosecutor Katherine Milbourne told the court the man had offended against the two boys on two occasions in July, 2019.

The first occasion the man, at the time aged 18, and the two boys, 8 and 9, were at the boys' home playing playstation.

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While the nine-year-old played the playstation the eight-year-old was lying on his stomach.

The man grabbed the eight-year-old boy's feet and rubbed them over his genitalia, over clothing.

The boys swapped so the eight-year-old could play playstation and the man called the nine-year-old to the ground.

The man rubbed his hands all over the boy's body and touched the boy's genitalia inappropriately over his clothing.

On a second occasion in the same month, the man was once again at the boys' home playing playstation.

While the nine-year-old played playstation and the eight-year-old was on the floor, the man moved his genitalia onto the latter's buttocks over clothing with the boy rocking back and forth.

The nine-year-old was next on the ground where the man touched him all over and touched his genitalia over clothing.

That was the last time the man went to the boys' home.

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Ms Milbourne said the man was arrested on November 24, 2019, where in a recorded interview he admitted to playing video games with the boys but denied touching them inappropriately.

She said the mother of the boys said these offences had significant impact on the two boys.

Defence lawyer Scott Moon tendered a number of medical documents to the court relating to his client, now 20.

He asked the court to consider his client's young age, his lack of criminal history before and after the offence and his client's medical condition of neurofibromatosis and asked the court not to record a criminal conviction.

He said his client had not been able to work recently due to significant medical treatment required for ongoing seizures however once they were controlled his client would like to gain employment with an interest in blacksmithing.

He said, however, a conviction of this type would have an impact on his chances of finding employment and would also place his client on the Child Protection Offender Registry which had very onerous reporting conditions.

He asked the court to consider the offending was low level as it did not include any sort of skin to skin contact.

Judge Craig Chowdhury described the man's offending as "extremely serious".

"It causes no end of trauma and heartache in our community," Judge Chowdhury said.

"You took advantage of the boys to molest them."

He agreed there were exceptional circumstances due to the man's lack of criminal history, his early plea of guilty, lack of further offending, the offences' low level and his unique medical circumstances.

"Because there were two boys, conduct deliberate and it occurred on two separate occasions, the offence in my view is too serious to not have a conviction recorded," Judge Chowdhury said.

The man was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment which was immediately suspended for 19 months.


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