Sentence increase for sex offender succesful, still no jail

A BUNDABERG child sex offender with a shocking history of abusing young boys has had his sentence increased on appeal but he will not serve a day behind bars after it was once again wholly suspended.

Garry John Beattie, 52, was convicted in the Bundaberg District Court in April over seven offences stemming from his interaction with two minors in 1996 and 2001.

He was sentenced to 18 months behind bars but walked free from court after the sentence was wholly suspended.

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie appealed the sentence the following month claiming it was manifestly inadequate and the sentencing judge erred because the case was governed by the totality principle - which means the judge should have imposed a sentence based upon the totality of the Beattie's criminal conduct, not just the matters before him.

The Queensland Court of Appeal, during a hearing last month, heard Beattie had an extensive criminal history of similar offending against young boys in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

The court was told he was jailed in South Australia for two-and-a-half years after being found guilty in 1992 of six counts of indecent assault, involving two boys aged nine and twelve.

Twelve years later he was jailed for nine months, which was wholly suspended for two years, for similar offences committed in Victoria.

Beattie was back before the Bundaberg District Court again in August, 2007, facing child sex charges which were committed between January, 2001 and June, 2002 and was subsequently jailed for six months, which was wholly suspended, for an operational period of three years.

He was eventually jailed in 2010 after being found guilty in the Bundaberg District Court over the indecent treatment of a child under 16 which occurred in November, 2008.

He was jailed and served 18 months behind bars.

Upon his release, he was back before the County Court of Victoria in September, 2012, where he pleaded guilty to child sex offences dating back to 1985 and subsequently received a year behind bars which was wholly suspended.

Justice Philip McMurdo, in delivering his findings on Tuesday, ordered the sentence imposed earlier this year be set aside and replaced with a wholly suspended head sentence of two-and-a-half years.

He said it was difficult to say whether an actual custodial term would provide any significant benefit towards his rehabilitation and nor would it serve any purpose of personal deterrence.

"It is also relevant that the respondent (Beattie) has now been undergoing the regime of probation imposed by the sentencing judge now for some months and has performed satisfactorily," he said.

"In such a circumstance, the further rehabilitation of the respondent (Beattie) could be damaged by requiring him to interrupt that program and to go to prison for a short time before having to again readjust upon his release."

BEATTIE'S CHILD SEX CONVICTIONS

  • 1992 - South Australia District Court (Jailed for 2.5 years)
  • 2004 - Victorian Magistrates Court (Jailed for nine months which was wholly suspended)
  • 2007 - Bundaberg District Court (Jailed for six months which was wholly suspended)
  • 2010 - Bundaberg District Court (Received an 18 month jail sentence)
  • 2012 - Melbourne County Court (Jailed for 12 months which was wholly suspended)
  • 2012 - Bundaberg Magistrates Court (Fined for failing to report)
  • 2014 - Bundaberg District Court (18 month wholly suspended sentence)

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