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Australia Noosa Councillor Frank Pardon jailed for three years over child sex abuse

05:40  13 december  2019
05:40  13 december  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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A Queensland local government councillor could return to his job despite abusing a Frank Pardon , 70, had inappropriate contact with the teenager over four months. He is yet to be Despite this, Noosa Council Mayor Tony Wellington has declared Frank Pardon was not welcome back at council offices.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Pardon was found guilty of five counts of indecent treatment of a child. (ABC News: Tara Cassidy)© Provided by ABC NEWS Pardon was found guilty of five counts of indecent treatment of a child. (ABC News: Tara Cassidy) Noosa councillor and former Deputy Mayor Frank Pardon will serve at least 18-months in jail after being found guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage girl in the 1990s.

On Wednesday, Pardon, 70, was found guilty by a Sunshine Coast jury of five counts of indecent treatment of a child, four counts while under care, and one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a minor.

He was acquitted of one charge of indecent treatment of a child.

Judge Glen Clash today sentenced Pardon to three years in jail, suspended after serving half the term.

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See more of Councillor Frank Pardon for Noosa on Facebook. In October 2016, Noosa Council agreed to take over trusteeship of the Cooroy Hall from Club Cooroy RSL and carry out community consultation to help decide what to do.

Yahoo chat logs containing 'extremely graphic' child abuse fantasies and software allowing access to the Dark Web were also found on some of the four computers seized, the court heard. Other images shows 'pubescent and pre-pubescent' girls as young as 10 being sexually abused , and one of a baby.

He said Pardon's offending was "serious" and would have had huge "psychological impacts" on his victim.

"What you did was to allow your sexual interest in the complainant to overcome the realisation that what you were doing was seriously wrong," Judge Cash said.

During the trial, the court heard Pardon assaulted the young teenage girl over several months at a Sunshine Coast business, in his vehicle and his home.

In one instance he drove the victim and her friend to a business and supplied them with alcohol before kissing and touching the victim in front of her friend.

The acts occurred before Pardon was elected to council, he was charged over the offences in early 2017.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said the most serious aspects of the offending was the age disparity between Pardon and the victim.

Noosa councillor Frank Pardon found guilty of indecent treatment of a child

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See more of Councillor Frank Pardon for Noosa on Facebook. In October 2016, Noosa Council agreed to take over trusteeship of the Cooroy Hall from Club Cooroy RSL and carry out community consultation to help decide what to do.

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He told the court Pardon had shown no remorse for the acts, having denied the allegations since being charged.

"He pursued her…acted to have a sexual relationship with her, she was too young to understand what was happening," he said.

"It was concerning he was willing to pursue his sexual interest in [the victim] even in front of another person."

Pardon's defence barrister Andrew Hoare had suggested Pardon should only be sentenced to three years in jail due to his "character since the offending", his lack of criminal history, his role in the community as a councillor and having volunteered for various charity organisations.

By receiving a custodial sentence today, Pardon was automatically disqualified from his Noosa Shire councillor position.

Throughout the eight-day trial, the court heard from a number of witnesses including the victim, her former school friend and family, Pardon and his ex-wife.

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The NCA said Willis, a former town councillor for Sleaford in Lincolnshire, was convicted of sharing indecent images of children in June 2017. We work closely with our law enforcement partners to target and identify those using online tools to perpetuate child abuse and bring them to justice."

One witness gave evidence of a phone call with Pardon, where he described having a "serious emotional relationship" with the teenager and admitted being regretful about her age.

The witness said Pardon was "obsessed" and in love with the girl.

The court also heard a phone recording between the victim and Pardon years later where he could be heard telling the woman he would have left his wife for her, "It was hard you were so young, I remember saying until you were 16 or older I didn't want to do anything over the top".

Pardon strongly denied all allegations of the assaults and relationship.

He told the court he told hundreds of women he'd leave his wife for them as a "term of endearment", and described the allegations as rubbish and "acts of a lesser man".

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