Child assault wasn’t ‘one-off’ act: court

by admin on June 20th, 2019

filed under 南京夜网

A SINGLETON teacher who indecently assaulted a student in the 1980s has been sentenced to an 18-month suspended jail term inNewcastle District Court.
Nanjing Night Net

Michael Patrick Beh appeared in courton Friday for sentence after pleading guilty to one count ofindecentlyassaulting aperson under authority, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in jail.

Beh, now 62, was teaching a boy –then aged nine or 10 –when he placed his hand up the boy’s pants leg and fondled his genitalia, the court heard.Beh continued to teach at the school for more than 20 yearsbefore retiring.

“While the factual material contains some allegations that he touched the lad on more than one occasion there is but one count on the indictment and I am not entitled to take into account the other matters other than the point of view of saying that it can’t be said that this was a one-off offence,” Judge Roy Ellis said.

Judge Ellis said he was also required to sentence Beh in“accordance with the sentencing principles that existed”at the time of the offence, when thesentencingregimewas significantly more lenient.

“There is little room for personaldeterrence, bearing in mind that hedesistedvoluntarily in his offending against this lad and has not re-offended in the last 27 years,” Mr Ellis said.“Mr Beh in fact when first spoken to by the victim readily admitted his offence and apologised to his victim.

“When spoken to by the police he entered into an electronically recorded interview and made full admissions.That he readily acknowledged what he had done andapologisedfor it is not the normal course that these matters take.Generally speaking there is a denial.”

Judge Ellis sentenced Beh to an 18-month suspended sentence and ordered him toaccept ongoingpsychologicalassistance.

“This is not an easy sentencing matter,” Judge Ellis said.“Because, on the one hand,sending this man into custody would certainly be a punishment to him.

“But on the other it seemsto me to be in the long-term interests of the community to proceed in a way other than sending him into custody for a few months, that would only protect the community for the few months that he is in custody. If I place him on a suspended sentence for 18 months the community is likely to be protected for at least thatperiod and, if in fact the rehabilitation is effective, the community would be protected for the balance of his life.”

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