'Perverted' child abuse staggers WA judge

A Western Australian judge has described a babysitter's persistent sexual abuse of girls as young as six as brazen, perverted and staggeringly selfish.

'Perverted' child abuse staggers WA judge

A babysitter who repeatedly sexually abused multiple young girls over three years has been jailed in Western Australia for more than a decade.

David Arthur Rice was aged between 57 and 60 from 2002 through to 2005 when he committed the crimes, mainly at his home, while the children ranged in age from six to 11.

The abuse included sexually assaulting three girls in front of each other while they were tied by rope to a bedhead.

On another occasion, Rice bit one of the girls while defiling her, then showered her, telling her it was a secret.

He also made them perform sex acts on each other and played pornographic videos while abusing them.

District Court of WA Judge David MacLean described the offending as brazen, persistent and perverted, and included a degree of degradation to the victims.

"They were very young and you abused that vulnerability," Judge MacLean said on Friday.

"Further, you were prepared to offend grievously against children in the presence of other children.

"The prosecutor submitted that the sheer level of selfishness and your complete lack of care for such small children and the perpetuation of this type of offending for sexual gratification is staggering.

"I accept the submission."

While he was convicted for abusing five girls, others were involved but their identities were unknown, the court heard.

Rice was on bail for other serious offences against children when he committed the crimes, which left his victims deeply traumatised, unable to maintain relationships and engaging in self harm.

He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars and will be eligible for parole after serving nine.

Source : 9 News More   

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Frustration led to attack on Andrews: Tehan

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has withdrawn remarks over Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' leadership, conceding frustration over schooling in the state during the coronavirus crisis led to his extraordinary attack.

Frustration led to attack on Andrews: Tehan

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has withdrawn remarks over Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' leadership, conceding frustration over schooling in the state during the coronavirus crisis led to his extraordinary attack.

On ABC television's Insiders program on Sunday, Mr Tehan lashed Mr Andrews' handling of the controversial issue of opening schools during the COVID-19 crisis, which federal Labor has described as "bullying".

"The question to Dan Andrews is, sure, take a sledgehammer to defeating the coronavirus but why are you taking a sledgehammer also to your schools system?" an unusally heated Mr Tehan had said.

Coronavirus: Teacher at Victorian primary school tests positive

He said Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory hadn't had to quash their education system to fight the virus and have a 70 per cent attendance at their schools.

Pressed several time on the prime minister's previous advice to parents about listening to their premiers, Mr Tehan said the government's advice was that parents should listen to the medical experts.

"It's safe for schools to be open and it is safe for teachers to be in the classroom when the right protocols are in place," Mr Tehan insisted.

Several hours later, Mr Tehan issued a statement saying he had expressed his personal frustration that more schools weren't starting more in-class learning in his home state.

"It was this frustration that led me to overstep the mark in questioning Premier Andrews' leadership on the matter and I withdraw," Mr Tehan said.

"I will continue working constructively with my state counterparts as they run their state school systems to support them with the best medical and education expert advice the federal government can offer."

The attack had come before state health minister Jenny Mikakos reported a teacher had tested positive to COVID-19 at the Meadowglen primary school in Melbourne, which will be closed for three days for cleaning.

Mr Andrews has been adamant in not opening schools for fear of spreading the virus, while Scott Morrison has urged all schools to open.

But the prime minister has also previously said parents should listen to their premiers.

Ms Mikakos said she will continue to urge Victorian parents to listen to the advice of our government. The advice remains unchanged and that is that we will continue to engage in online learning for the foreseeable future."

Labor's education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said Mr Tehan's attack was "disappointing" when states and territories had been working so well with the commonwealth government during the crisis.

"We don't need the federal education minister trying to bully and harass state education ministers and state governments," she told reporters in Sydney.

"This is a very difficult and stressful time for families ... and to have a big political fight between the states and the commonwealth when it comes to schooling is the very last thing they need."

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said he was unaware of Mr Tehan's original comments but said no one should be criticising state leaders.

"It would be pretty disappointing if the Morrison government was using it as a chance to take pot shots at the states," Mr Miles said.

"The last thing we need right now is levels of government criticising each other."

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said COVID-19 affected far fewer children than they represent as a proportion of society.

"We know now that COVID-19 is not behaving the same way as influenza," he told Sky News.

"Whereas with influenza, children are often primary transmitters in our society. It is clear now for COVID-19 that is not the case."

Source : 9 News More   

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