Victim in court to see serial molester jailed over assault
A REPEAT child molester from the Coast, who was yesterday convicted of indecently assaulting another victim, is eligible for parole.
Dennis Norman Douglas, 48, had pleaded not guilty to the indecent treatment of a child under 16, but a jury came back with a guilty verdict at Maroochydore District Court.
His victim, who was 11 or 12 at the time of the assault, sat in court with his family while Douglas was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, to be served cumulatively on top of the current sentences he is serving for other offences.
Douglas's new full-time release date will be January 23, 2022.
But he was eligible for parole upon receiving his sentence.
Judge Gary Long said Douglas was a "substantial risk" to young boys in the community.
In 2006 the victim was seated on a couch between Douglas and notorious pedophile Manuel Gonzalo Pando Siguas, at Pando Siguas's home, when he was assaulted.
"You took the opportunity to take the complainants hand, put it inside your clothing so that it was brought into contact with your penis and you then used the complainant's hand to masturbate your penis to the point of ejaculation, is the inference to be drawn from the evidence that was given," Judge Long said.
Judge Long said Pando Siguas then touched the boy's genitals.
"That conduct, involving the two of you, then continued over some considerable period of time," he said.
"It was not of a short or brief duration on the evidence that was given in the trial.
"It is apparent in those circumstances that you took, what appears to be, fairly prompt advantage of the vulnerable position of this child at the time."
Judge Long said Douglas must have known that the victim was being sexually abused by Pando Siguas.
He said Douglas's impact on the victim included that the victim had to give evidence in court and be challenged.
Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings told the court of Douglas's sexual offending history which dated back to 1994.
Judge Long said Douglas had a history of ingratiating himself with families who had young boys.
"That of course is not directly a feature of the circumstances of this offence but never the less the seriousness of it is to be noted in terms of the observations I've already made," Judge Long said.
"While it may not be appropriate to impose a sentence that deters others, in dealing with you, personal deterrence remains an important factor in the case.
"There is...a need to have regard to the protection of the community as an important consideration.
"It remains a necessary conclusion that you present a real and substantial risk to young boys in the community."
Judge Long noted there were medical reports stating Douglas had a congenital brain defect, which were also noted when Douglas was previously sentenced.
"However, as the judge then observed, there is no evidence now or then before the court that your condition is linked to your offending and no evidence that your mental state has reduced your moral culpability for the offending," Judge Long said.
"It was noted then... that you had over the years obtained many qualifications. His honour said the medical reports state that you obtained many qualifications in farming machinery, general mechanics and tractor driving, you obtained a qualification in hydraulics from the Gatton agricultural college, you undertook a certificate 3 as an assistance nurse, further you apparently completed a diploma in community work.
"One of the medical reports mentioned that you've undertaken a number of causes including a pilot's licence, truck drivers licence and a bus drivers licence."
Judge Long said the court must have regard to sentences already imposed on an offender that had not been served.
He came to impose a cumulative sentence, rather than concurrent, because the offending was separate and unrelated, and there was an additional victim.
Outside of court, Sunshine Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit officer-in-charge Phil Hurst congratulated the victim for his strength in coming forward with the matters.
"Police can't get prosecution for these things unless the victims come forward and he's been an extremely strong character to come forward and go through a full trial and we were lucky enough to get the conviction," Snr-Sgt Hurst said.
"Obviously it can re-traumatise victims in relation to the original offence and obviously each victim responds differently in relation to what happens but court can be very very difficult.
"But it's something the victims are able to do, we do assist them with it, and we have professionals to assist them to go through that process and hopefully get a good result like we did today."
Snr-Sgt Hurst said Douglas was an associate of Pando Siguas, who was linked to a network of sex offenders.
He said there was a dedicated child protection unit on the Sunshine Coast with 34 specialist trained detectives.
"So the public can be reassured that we do have specially trained specific investigators that can investigate these complaints on behalf of victims and pursue them through the courts where they desire," he said.