Sex offender granted bail

A 32-YEAR-OLD registered sex offender has been released on strict bail conditions after being accused of mixing with young children.

Police allege the man breached conditions of the Sex Offender Registry on numerous occasions including being in the company of a 14-year-old girl who stayed the night at his unit after she was reported to police as a missing person.

The Mildura Magistrates’ Court was this week told the man also failed to notify the Sex Offender Registry of his correct telephone details and was already on four counts of bail.

The court was told the man committed further recent offending when he entered Techlab in Lime Avenue in August last year and stole a camera.

It is further alleged he entered the Australia Post store, also in Lime Avenue, in December last year and stole a passport camera valued at $1000.

In opposing bail, police prosecutor Senior Constable Raef Oliver said the accused was a known methamphetamine and cannabis user, was known to associate with other criminals and had been released on four counts of bail in the past six weeks.

The court was told the man had 10 pages of prior convictions.

Defence counsel Rebecca Boreham said her client had a “fairly significant” intellectual disability, would be vulnerable in custody and his offending would not necessarily attract a term of imprisonment.

Magistrate Andrew Capell disagreed with the sentencing options available, saying the allegations against the man were serious.

“I think a jail term is on the cards here,” Mr Capell said.

The magistrate said while he was concerned about the man mixing with young children, his intellectual disability was a “significant factor” which mitigated towards granting bail with conditions.

“I think there has to be a curfew ... he has to stay at home,” Mr Capell said.

“We can’t have him out there mixing with children,” he said.

Mr Capell said the man had now acquired a large number of charges of failing to comply with reporting obligations and a single breach could result in a five-year term of imprisonment.

“You’re only going to get one chance,” the magistrate told the accused man.

The man, who is due to return to court next month, must abide by a 9pm to 8am curfew. He is not to associate with anyone under the age of 18 by law.

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