Friday 13 June 2008

Jail for some in Aurukun rape

Been a long time coming for this one.

It's just been announced that five of the nine men will be jailed for six years, paroled after two years, for raping a 10-year-old girl.

Another two will be locked up 18 months and the rest were given three years probation.

The nine men, aged 13 - 25 yrs, raped the girl in Aurukun, on the Cape York peninsula three years ago. Although it was found that she did not resist the sexual attacks, State law says a child is regarded as "not having the capacity to consent to sex".

At the orginal hearing, Cairns District Court Judge, Sarah Bradley put the younger males on probation orders with no convictions recorded, whilst the adults sentences were wholly suspended. The original sentences were an abrogation of the duty of the court, Chief Justice Paul de Jersey said. "These errors were so serious as to produce a clear miscarriage of justice."

The Court of Appeal's Chief Justice said there had been "errors which made the sentences manifestly inadequate". Well, hello Judge Judy.. I mean Bradley!

The Appeal Court heard that Judge Bradley had failed to explain her reasons for not locking up these devils. She had treated all defendants equally despite differences in their ages and criminal records.

There was a stunning admission by the young boys throughout the hearing. They blamed others in the town for 'leading them astray'. Others told the police that "everyone seems to have sex with young girls".

Makes you wonder if this is simply the tip of a dodgy social iceberg where there's a lack of social support structures.

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