‘A danger to children’ spent time around kids
THERE was an audible gasp in a court today when people heard a man, described by a magistrate as a danger to children, had been around a 10-year-old boy on a weekly basis for 10 months without reporting the interaction.
Appearing at the Cleveland Magistrates Court Warren James Ward, 56, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with reporting requirements.
The court heard Ward, a Birkdale man who worked seven days on seven off as a plant operator at a mine outside of Brisbane, had spent half an hour a week assisting a friend with mental health issues between Jan 1 - November 27 last year.
During that time Ward failed to report to police that he was consistently in close vicinity to the man's 10-year-old son, in direct contravention of court orders.
"Because of your history as a danger to children you are supposed to report every address you stay at," Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.
"From February to November you are helping out a fella who has a ten-year-old son there.
"And you justified not reporting it because it is only helping out this father with his mental health problems for a half-hour a week.
"That is exactly the sort of contact that these authorities need to know about from someone with your history."
The court was told Warren, who was on a suspended sentence during the offending, had a four-page criminal history and had also failed to report in 2018 and last year.
"I see no reason not to activate those one month suspended sentences," Magistrate Vasta said.
"I don't think it is unjust to do that given the amount of time you had contact with this 10-year-old boy."
Defence solicitor Jane Bruxner said her client suffered persistent psychological issues and realised that he was very close to spending time in custody.
Ms Bruxner said the defendant, who walked with a cane in seeming physical distress, had a 280 pound object fall on him while at the mine which had led to a serious back injury.
However, magistrate Vasta questioned how Warren was able to be back at work only five days after the supposed accident.
Warren could not provide medical documentation to confirm his ailments.
The defendant was sentenced to four months' jail with immediate parole.
Magistrate Vasta said Warren was soon due in front of the District Court where his suspended sentences may be activated.
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Originally published as 'A danger to children' given jail sentence