AN IPSWICH man who confronted a convicted pedophile over allegations of child abuse will spend the next nine months behind bars – while another pedophile caught “grooming” a boy of 11 is to serve just six months.
The two men faced Ipswich District Court in separate hearings as controversy raged over two other sentences passed down by magistrates this week.
The sentences which allowed two men who dragged a pony behind their car and a flood-looter who stole an elderly woman’s jewellery to avoid jail time prompted a furious reaction from Queensland Times readers.
In the latest case, a 43-year-old stepfather went to the caravan home of pedophile Alan Francis Mortimer with two other men who are yet to face trial.
The defendant, who cannot be named to protect his stepdaughter’s identity, was incensed when the seven-year-old girl claimed Mortimer had exposed himself to her inside his caravan.
Unknown to the stepfather, Mortimer was on bail after being accused of sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl. He was later convicted of that crime and is now serving a two-year jail sentence.
The stepfather waited outside Mortimer’s caravan in February last year while the other men went inside, armed with a bat, and brought him outside.
They forced Mortimer, 61, into a car and drove him to where the girl was waiting with her mother.
When the girl identified him, Mortimer claimed he was assaulted by the stepfather’s accomplices, leaving him with a “sore right hamstring”.
The stepfather was convicted of entering a dwelling while armed and in company and deprivation of liberty, but cleared of assault.
Judge Gregory Koppenol sentenced him to 18 months’ jail to be released on parole on December 17, saying it was important to send a strong deterrence to would-be vigilantes.
Crown prosecutor Sarah Dennis said: “It was not the defendant’s job on that day to act as judge, jury and executioner.”
The Queensland Times understands Mortimer has not been charged over allegations he indecently dealt with the man’s stepdaughter. He claimed it was simply a “misunderstanding”.
While the protective stepfather will spend nine months in jail, a convicted sex offender who was caught with more than 10,000 child exploitation images after he tried to “groom” a young boy received a lighter sentence.
Anthonie Roberto Hellemons, 45, yesterday pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent treatment of a child aged under-12 and one of possessing child abuse material.
In December 2002, Hellemons invited the 11-year-old Ipswich boy to his house.
He sat him on his lap, touched his stomach and stroked his hair while showing him an email which contained photos of nude adults. He then showed the boy a pornographic film.
The child complained to his mother, who went to police.
Police searched Hellemons’ home and discovered 10,543 child porn images on his computer and 1119 child abuse movies.
Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis said Hellemons was “grooming” the child.
The court heard Hellemons was convicted in 1997 of sodomising an 11-year-old boy and sexually abusing him with a glass tube and gas bottle and sentenced to five years in jail.
Judge Sarah Bradley sentenced Hellemons to 18 months in jail, to be suspended after he serves six months.
Hellemons was charged before penalties for child sex offences were increased and the maximum sentence at the time was two years.
Defence barrister Steve Kissick said his client believed he should spend no time in jail as he had stayed out of trouble for several years.