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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 1714 asked in the Legislative Council on 30 October 2018 by Hon Nick Goiran

Question Directed to the: Minister for Environment representing the Minister for Police; Road Safety
Minister responding: Hon M.H. Roberts
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question

I refer to the Minister's answer to my question on notice, asked on 12 September 2018 and answered on 18 October 2018, in which the Minister informed the House that as at 18 September 2018, a total of 60 offenders have had 365 charges preferred arising from Operation Fledermaus and the Pilbara Joint Response Team, and I ask:
(a) what is the current number of offenders who have had charges preferred;
(b) further to (a), of that number, how many are:
(i) offenders in custody serving a sentence arising from one of the charges;
(ii) offenders otherwise in custody;
(iii) offenders not in custody; and
(iv) dangerous sex offenders;
(c) further to (b)(iii), of those not in custody, how many have an order on bail or otherwise prohibiting contact with the relevant victim;
(d) further to (c), of that number, how many also have an order prohibiting contact with the family of the relevant victim;
(e) further to (b), how many of the following are on the sex offenders register:
(i) offenders in custody serving a sentence arising from one of the charges;
(ii) offenders otherwise in custody; and
(iii) offenders not in custody; and
(f) further to (a), what is the:
(i) total number of charges that have been preferred;
(ii) number of charges that have been disposed of by the Court;
(iii) number of charges that have been withdrawn; and
(iv) number of charges yet to have been finally considered by the Court?

Answered on 28 November 2018

The Western Australian Police Force advise:

(a) 60.

(b)(i)(ii) Refer to Department of Justice for information on sentenced prisoners.

(b)(iii) Refer to Department of Justice for information on sentenced prisoners, released prisoners and matters pertaining to bail issued by the courts.

(b)(iv) Department of Justice initiates this process through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). Refer to Department of Justice for information in relation to dangerous sex offenders.

(c)(d) Refer to Department of Justice for information pertaining to bail issued by the courts.

(e)(i)(ii) Refer to Department of Justice for information on sentenced prisoners.

(e)(iii) 16.

* The primary information relative to court outcomes and prisoners is held by the Department of Justice. To ensure accuracy, the source for this information should be the Department of Justice.

(f)(i) 364

(f)(ii) 124

(f)(iii) 190

(f)(iv) 50

Notes:

  • Child Sexual Abuse charges are presented to the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for review and indictment.
  • On review, the ODPP determine in essence, that charges reflect both the sexual act/s committed in each case, the recording of the offending as the separate indecent recording charges, and the possession of the child exploitation material for possessing the indecent recordings. On some occasions there are a significant amount of overlap in the charges.
  • Section 321A (13) of the Criminal Code requires that if a person is convicted under section 332A (4) of a charge of persistent sexual conduct with a child under 16, which spans a particular time frame, no sentence imposed for any other “prescribed offence” committed during the same time frame can be made cumulative or partly cumulative on the sentence for the section 321(4) offence.
  • As set out in the DPP Prosecution Policy and Guidelines 2008:
  • “Where evidence discloses a large number of offences of a similar nature, and a victim will not be disadvantaged in a claim for restitution or compensation, the use of representative counts should be carefully considered and is encouraged. A multiplicity of charges can impose an unnecessary burden on the criminal justice system.”
  • In these such cases, a charge of persistent sexual conduct with a child under 16 years is a charge specifically designed to reflect ongoing sexual conduct with a child. While it is often used in cases in which particulars are difficult for the child to supply, it can also be appropriately used as a representative charge in cases of extensive abuse, where the maximum penalty still permits for a sufficient sentence to be imposed.
  • In some cases, taking into all considerations such as the nature of the conduct, the likely sentence, the offender’s willingness to plead guilty, and the availability of a suitable charge to reflect the extent of the offender’s conduct make it appropriate for the ODPP to withdraw some charges and indict the offender with others.