Updated: May 9
In this case study, our client was charged with Breaching the Sex Offender's Register in that he failed to report that he had contact with a child (his grandson).
Horsham Magistrates' Court
Our client had been ordered to comply with the reporting obligations under the Sex Offender's Register following a finding of guilt for prescribed offences several years earlier.
The circumstances of the offence were that he had attended the home of his daughter to visit his newborn. During the annual interview several months later he disclosed this visit. Although he was permitted to visit his daughter and grandson his failure to report the visit resulted in our client being charged with an indictable offence pursuant to section 46 of the Sex Offender's Registration Act.2004 (Vic)
When interviewed our client told police that given the short duration of his trip, and the nature of it hadn't registered as being an urgent matter to report to police.
Suffice to say that he was again during the interview reminded of the onerous obligations he was subject to.
Penalties for Breach of Reporting Obligations
Under section 46(1) of the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 (Vic) the maximum penalty that applies is 5 years imprisonment.
How the case resolved
Consistent with our client's frank admissions, the matter proceeded as a plea of guilty. He had been reporting each year for 5 years without issue, and this occasion was the only breach. The Magistrate accepted that there was nothing unusual about the nature of the visit, simply that he hadn't reported it to police, and but for our client's admission would not have been detected.
The Court convicted and fined our client $400.
This case study illustrates the fact that the police have very little discretion and will in most cases breach a person for a failure to comply with might be characterised as a minor example of offending.