Police Sign

Community worker charged with 20 child sex offences

A QUEENSLAND community worker will appear in court next week, charged with 20 child sex offences after allegedly assaulting several teenage boys northwest of Brisbane.

The 71-year-old man is accused of indecently assaulting and treating a number of boys in the South Burnett region between March and November last year.

He was arrested by detectives from the Kingaroy Child Protection and Investigation Unit in November and charged with 20 offences, including indecent treatment of a child under 16.

Police allege the 71-year-old worked for a community organisation which had regular contact with juveniles and children and fear there may be other victims.

The man worked in several towns in the South Burnett region between 2000 and 2017, police said.

Investigations are continuing and police are urging anyone who may have any further information that could assist them to come forward.

The 71-year-old man is due to re-appear in Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Monday, January 21.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

Police Lights

Qld teen hit and killed while “moving between cars”

A 17-year-old boy has died after being hit by a car in Brisbane.

Police say initial investigations suggest the boy was moving between cars travelling along Ipswich Road when he was struck by a passing vehicle around 9.50pm.

The boy suffered critical injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle, a 52-year-old man, was not seriously injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

WATCH:

Polair Police Helicopter

Fisherman feared dead after ‘falling overboard’ found asleep on the boat

There’s some red faces tonight after a man thought to have fallen overboard from a fishing trawler off Queensland’s Sunshine Coast was found still on board.

A massive air and sea search was launched after reports the 45-year-old had fallen from the fishing vessel just before 3am near Double Island Point north of Noosa.

Grave fears were held for his safety with Police told he was not wearing a life jacket at the time.

Seven helicopters, two fixed-wing aircraft and numerous boats including the Water Police were involved in the search.

Around 4pm Police released a statement saying the man had been found alive.

It turns out he was asleep the whole time in one of the boat’s compartments.

The aircraft and boats involved in the search have now been stood down.

Water Police will now travel to the vessel this afternoon to speak to the man and determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

River Water

Search underway for fisherman who fell overboard in Qld

A MAJOR air and sea search is underway for a fisherman who went missing off Double Island Point this morning.

The man is believed to have fallen overboard whilst on a commercial fishing vessel about 3am.

Police were alerted in the early hours and immediately launched a search.

The search is taking place approximately 30 nautical miles offshore from Double Island Point.

Eight helicopters, two fixed wing aircrafts, one jet, two QPS water police vessels, two fishing vessels and a Coast Guard vessel are all involved.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact police.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

Serial sex offender Robert John Fardon released into community after court rejects supervision bid

One of Queensland’s worst sex offenders, Robert John Fardon is now free to roam the streets after a court ruled he no longer has to remain under supervision.

The 70-year-old’s supervision order was due to expire last October after the State Government lost an attempt in August to continue strict monitoring.

Justice David Jackson ruled at the time that there was a low risk of Fardon re-offending and there were not reasonable grounds for extending the supervision order.

The State Government lodged an appeal which saw the supervision order extended until a fresh hearing was held.

In a ruling released on Wednesday, Justice Helen Bowskill deemed that she “was not satisfied, on the evidence before the court, that the respondent is a serious danger to the community in the absence of a further supervision order.”

The ruling was made on January 9 but was only made public until today meaning Fardon has been free to roam the community for a week already.

In her judgement, Justice Bowskill said that the consistent expert opinion of three psychiatrists was that Fardon posed a low risk of re-offending and a further supervision order should not be made.

She found there is no evidence of ongoing sexual preoccupation or that he suffers from any form of sexual paraphilia and he is not a paedophile.

Fardon will still be subject to reporting conditions under tough new child sex offender laws for the rest of his life meaning Police will know where he lives and travels, details of his phone and internet connections, social media accounts, interactions and passwords.

In a statement, Attorney-General Yvette D’ath said “like most Queenslanders, the Palaszczuk Government wants Fardon to be strictly supervised in the community.”

“That is why the Government took legal action to extend the supervision order first put in place five years ago.”

Ms D’ath has already sought legal advice about challenging the decision but has been informed there are no grounds for another appeal.

LNP Leader claims Fardon’s release is a consequence of the Government’s failure to introduce tough laws to keep serial predators under strict supervision.

“Make no mistake, this sadistic grub is unsupervised on the streets because of weak leadership and petty politics by Annastacia Palaszczuk,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk played Russian roulette with the courts and lost. It was clear from last year that Labor had no plan B and that has been proven today.”

Ms Frecklington also raised concerns about the decision to delay releasing the ruling until today.

“I am deeply concerned that Fardon has been walking free on the streets for the last week and nobody could say anything. Queenslanders have a right to know.”