Sydney: Grant Davies sentenced for child pornography and sex abuse

Grant Davies: Sydney dancing teacher sentenced for child pornography and sex abuse

Sydney dancing teacher Grant Davies has been sentenced to 24 years in jail for multiple child sex offences against nine victims, with the judge imposing a non-parole period of 18 years.

Davies pleaded guilty last year to child pornography and sexual abuse charges for crimes against former students from his now-defunct RG Dance studio in Sydney’s inner west.

On Friday, he looked directly at the judge as graphic details of his sexual abuse were read out.

Davies began sexually abusing one student when she was just 10 years old, with the abuse continuing for a number of years.

In sentencing Davies to a minimum of 18 years in jail, Judge Jennie Girdham said his crimes were made worse by the fact he was in a position of authority.

She described his behaviour as predatory and persistent.

‘Diverse acts’ perpetrated on boys and girls

Judge Girdham told the court that Davies’ offending covered “diverse acts with nine children” of both genders.

“The vast selection of sexual text messages, pornographic pictures and video material reveal the intensity and the extended duration of the offender’s activity with his victims,” she said.

“The offender started by sophisticated grooming of children, which over time escalated to sexual activity.”
The court heard that some of Davies’ victims avoided his advances and were reprimanded by him when they did.

The judge said of a victim: “She is frustrated that when she first had the courage to speak out about it, nearly no-one listened apart from her family and close friends, and many friends and parents in the dance world chose to turn a blind eye and not support her.

“As she ignored his advances, he ignored her during classes.”
Davies groomed students and their mothers

Former students from RG Dance gave victim impact statements during the sentencing hearing, with one student — now aged in her 20s — saying Davies was so trusted by her family he would come to dinner, even though he was regularly abusing her.

More of this news Source: Liv Casben and Clare Blumer – The ACB News

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Ben Cousins: Restraining Order Breach

Ben Cousins arrested in Perth, charged over drugs, restraining order breach

TROUBLED former AFL star Ben Cousins has been arrested in Perth and told to “stay away from” his ex-girlfriend.

Radio 6PR reported Cousins was arrested in Canning Vale, in Perth’s southeast, about 1pm Monday.

Cousins, from Bicton, has been charged with possession of methamphetamine and two charges of breaching a violence restraining order.

The 2005 Brownlow Medallist and 2006 West Coast Eagles premiership player was held in the Perth lock-up overnight.

It is alleged the breach of restraining order charges relate to a recent incident. Cousins, now 38, appeared briefly at the Armadale Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Wearing a green hoodie and blue tracksuit pants and sporting a beard, Cousins was granted bail but told to keep his distance from his ex.

His lawyer Damien Cripps told the court his client was “actually in a very good place at the moment” but would be unable to secure a surety for bail.

Magistrate Sandra De Maio said it appeared Cousins was going through a tough time and there seemed to be drug issues, Perth Now reported.

Cousins told the court he was confused whether he had to stay away from the person protected — the mother of his two children, aged 3 and 5.

Reporters inside the courtroom said Cousins looked “dishevelled in appearance”.

He will next appear in court on November 22.

More of this news Source:

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Canberra negligent on daycare fraud

Canberra negligent on daycare fraud, say states

An ugly fight over who should pay to stop fraud in the family daycare sector threatens to swamp the next education ministers council, with one state minister warning rorts worth more than $1 billion will continue ­unless the federal government invests in prevention.

Under the National Quality Framework introduced in 2012, states and territories bear responsibility for compliance and assessment checks in relation to childcare services, for which they receive federal funding. But there is little such support for catching fraud.

This leaves the states in the curious position of guarding federal money on behalf of the federal government.

One minister said the federal government will “risk millions more of its own money if it doesn’t come to the party on this”.

NSW Early Childhood Education Minister Leslie Williams said she has raised the issue with her federal colleague, Simon Birmingham, but she promised the state would not let down its guard.

“Despite the significant increase in family daycare services, it is disappointing that the commonwealth has reduced funding to NSW for the regulation of services by 28 per cent under our current funding agreement,” she said.

“NSW will continue to work with all jurisdictions through the Education Council to identify ­opportunities to strengthen Family Day Care and prevent further defrauding of commonwealth childcare payments.”

The family daycare sector in Victoria represents 10 per cent of the total childcare sector, but ­accounts for almost 80 per cent of enforcement actions taken by the state.

Funding, state government says, has increased only with ­inflation and does not address the 62 per cent growth in family daycare services and the corresponding rise in fraud and compliance issues.

More of this news Source: Rick Morton – the Australian

Family lawyer invites Hanson to spend ‘a week in my shoes’

A Brisbane family lawyer has challenged senator and fellow Queenslander, Pauline Hanson, to learn about the “real world of family law” by spending a week in court.

Jennifer Hetherington, an accredited family law specialist based in Brisbane, has offered to school One Nation senator Pauline Hanson on the realities of the system.

“Rather than stand up in the Senate and deliver an ill-informed rant against family lawyers, try spending a week in my shoes. Come with me to the family courts and experience first-hand what we have to deal with,” Ms Hetherington said.

She referred to Ms Hanson’s attack on the family law courts as “Senate diatribe” and said the politician showed “astonishing ignorance”.

The senator’s derisive maiden speech in the upper house last month drew the ire of family lawyers across the nation. Ms Hanson dedicated a portion of her speech to describe the family law system as “unworkable”, “in desperate need of change” and as having worsened in the past 20 years.

“Ms Hanson’s portrayal of lawyers in a negative light, especially when it comes to divorce, depicting them as just money-grabbers, was personally and professionally insulting,” Ms Hetherington said.

“The family lawyers I have dealings with agree that compassion, cooperation and consideration should drive us throughout the divorce process. Ultimately our duty is to the court and to the child, first and foremost.”

Ms Hanson went on to suggest in her maiden speech that family law practitioners are in it for money alone.

“Family law would be the most discriminatory, biased and unworkable policy in this country,” Ms Hanson said.

More of this topic Source: Melissa Coade – Lawyers Weekly

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Domestic violence victims not protected by justice system

Domestic violence victims not protected by justice system, says ACT Victims of Crime Commissioner

The ACT Victims of Crime Commissioner has called for tougher penalties for people who breach domestic violence orders after a number of incidents over the long weekend.

ACT Policing revealed officers responded to 27 reports of family violence across the city over the three days, including a number of incidents where people had contravened protection orders.

“Using the court system and the criminal justice system to address domestic violence isn’t working,” commissioner John Hinchey said.

“Anyone that’s had an order taken out on them by a previous partner, anyone that’s got a history of non-compliance with a community-based order, anyone that’s breached any bail conditions, they’re all indicators that these people aren’t taking orders seriously.

“They shouldn’t be given second, third and fourth chances when they’re on their second, third or fourth orders.”

The events over the weekend resulted in eight people fronting court on 16 separate charges.

Offences ranged from property damage to assault, strangulation and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Police said the offenders and victims were both men and women.

More of this news Source: Georgia Hitch – The ABC News

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A financial agreement to protect their assets

A financial agreement can help couples protect their assets if their relationship ends

When Jeanne-Vida (JV) Douglas and Simon Lyster decided to move in together, there was never any question they wanted to have some separation of finances and a written financial agreement.

It wasn’t that they didn’t trust each other but they had JV’s two children, age 10 and 13, to consider. They had both been married before and wanted to think through any tricky issues ahead of time.

“We had both gone through a lot of growing as people [since our break-ups],” says JV, 40. “We are aware of taking care of ourselves and also aware of taking care of each other and of the kids.”

The couple wanted to buy a house together in Sydney, using JV’s inheritance from her mother for the deposit. In return Simon, 49, pays a larger portion of the repayments on their mortgage.

“We wanted to make sure that if we broke up it was fair,” says JV of the need for a financial agreement.

Many couples, whether married or de facto, choose to operate separate bank accounts. This can help people feel autonomy over their own finances, and ensure they have access to emergency funds.

However, it provides limited protection in the event of a split, as property held in the name of one partner can be claimed by the other.

Under Australian law, de facto couples who separate after two years have the same rights as married couples with respect to property settlements; including spouse maintenance and claims on each other’s super.

And with more people re-partnering and bringing children and significant financial assets into their new relationships, how to be fair to everyone can be tricky to negotiate.

Some couples ignore the issue and hope for the best. Others prefer to plan for what would happen in the event of a break-up.

More of this story Source: John Collett – The Sydney Morning Herald

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Child sexual abuse royal commission: Father John Farrell

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Father John Farrell had ‘serious psychological problems’

It was the practice of some clergy not to ask questions when it came to the issue of child molestation, a senior Catholic official has told the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

The Sydney hearing is examining how the dioceses at Armidale in northern New South Wales and Parramatta in Sydney’s west responded to allegations made against Father John Farrell.

Appearing at the hearing, Monsignor John Usher, who spent 20 years as director of the Catholic welfare agency Centacare, said he interviewed Farrell for an hour in 1990 and found his ongoing need to spend time with children was a grave concern.

More of this news Source: Nicole Chettle – The ACB News

If you have been a victim of Child Abuse, please contact Family Legal immediately. We will be able to provide you with our expert legal advice on what steps should be taken. Call 1300 388 298 or Email

Baby business: Australia’s black market

Baby business: Inside Australia’s black market egg donation trade

A leading family law expert says there is a thriving black market of egg donation targeting desperate prospective parents in Australia.

Lawyer Stephen Page told 60 Minutes reporter Allison Langdon that Australia’s restrictive laws pushed donors and parents to illegal agreements.

While it is legal to donate eggs or use someone else’s eggs in Australia, it is illegal to pay or be paid for the agreement.

People can be jailed for up to 15 years for breaking the law but Mr Page said there were some “sharks in the water” looking to make a buck.

“We’ve seen it happen with surrogacy, we’re seeing it happen with egg donation,” Mr Page said.

“It’s really sad.

“The stories that I’ve heard are there are women who are prepared to be donors in exchange for a payment of money.”

Blue Mountains couple Diane Johnstone and her husband Shane suffered through seven miscarriages, IVF and a bout of cancer before deciding to turn to the donor route.

Unwilling to break the law, the couple travelled to Cape Town in South Africa – where egg donation is legal – to start their family.

Ms Johnstone now runs a website for parents who want to know more about egg donation and said she has heard disturbing stories of donors demanding money from couples.

“It’s a bidding process. Grooming them, preparing them, then asking for the money,” she told Langdon.

More of this News Source: Nine Digital

Pauline Hanson’s policies on family law

Pauline Hanson and One Nation are criticised for their stance on immigration and Islam, but policies on women and family law also require our attention, writes Jane Gilmore.

Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in the Senate last night was an unsurprising exercise in incoherent xenophobia, a whack-a-mole of ignorance, played out for the edification of a nation.

Scarifying her racist, islamophobic nonsense will no doubt take up many column inches over the next few days, as indeed it should, but her “policies” on women and family law need a mention as well.

Hanson’s audience is, as it always has been, bitterly angry white men, furious that their place at the front of every queue is no longer guaranteed by the power of their tiny, white penises. To misquote Shakespeare, let me not to the marriage of true mindlessness admit impediments.

If you’re ever nostalgic for that feeling when you want to laugh, vomit and spit in rage all at the same time, I highly recommend checking out the One Nation’s policies. A cringeworthy combination of sadangry feels and Wikipedia plagiarism, they would be hilarious if they weren’t so very dangerous. And make no mistake, they are truly dangerous. Not only because Hanson has power in the senate, but because the fiscally ludicrous misogyny they’re soaked in will have some appeal to the hard right wing of our government.

Phil Coorey reported in July this year that the Nationals are considering giving support to some of the One Nation policies in an attempt to prevent rural votes leaking down to Hanson. He quoted one Nationals MP as saying family law was something the Nationals need to “treat seriously”.

If you believe the Nationals think treating family law seriously means added protection for abused children and women, please get in touch so I can tell you about this wonderful bridge I have for sale.

More of this News Source: Jane Gilmore – The Feed

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Child Pornography, Drugs, found in Canberra warehouse

Man faces court after child pornography, drugs, found in Canberra warehouse

A Canberra man has faced the ACT Magistrates Court accused of accessing child pornography and trafficking in illegal drugs.

Andrew David Frugtniet, 40, was arrested after police raided a warehouse in Mitchell yesterday.

Police said they seized several mobile phones, two laptops, a tablet, a portable hard drive and several USB sticks.

Many of the devices allegedly held pornographic images of young girls, including some children who had not yet reached puberty.

They also found hard-copy pornographic photographs and magazines at the site.

Police said they seized six medium-sized cannabis plants in a hydrophonic set-up, five clip-seal bags of cannabis, a vacuum-sealed bag of cannabis in a safe, dried cannabis in a Snoop Dogg box and a trafficable quantity of a drug believed to be ice.

The prosecution said despite the large quantity of cannabis, the defendant told police it was for his personal use.

Frugtniet faced court this morning charged with accessing child pornography, cultivating six cannabis plants and trafficking in ice.

More of this News Source: Alexandra Beech – The ABC News

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