Queensland child sex offender freed ‘because of the virus’

 

A GOLD Coast man with a history of child sex offending who most recently exposed himself to a seven-year-old girl has been released from prison due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Corey Karl Devlin, 29, faced Southport District Court on Friday for flashing his penis at the child and smiling at her.

He pleaded guilty over video from prison to indecently treating a child aged under 12 on September 30 last year.

The man was previously convicted of two counts of having sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14-16 and one count each of possessing child exploitation material and failing to abide by sex offender reporting obligations between 2012-2014, the court was told.

Crown prosecutor Michael Mitchell said the man was 10 months into a suspended sentence and probation order when he offended against the girl.

She rushed to tell her grandmother and father, who reported the matter to police.

Defence barrister David Cole told Judge Julie Dick over the phone his client was a "long-time smoker, so he has a compromised physical system".

Devlin faced Southport District Court over video from prison on Friday.
Devlin faced Southport District Court over video from prison on Friday.

He handed up a psychological report and said the man had been moved from a mainstream prison to the high security Wolston Correctional Centre, notorious for housing sex offenders and others in need of protection, because of "certain ideation" behind bars.

Judge Julie Dick was concerned "he's going to end up back in jail" and told the man: "You keep offending against children - you have a problem".

"And eventually it is possible for a court to order you don't be released ever, if it keeps going on," she said.

But Judge Dick said he would be freed due to the threat of coronavirus in prisons.

She told the man: "I'm going to let you out today because of the virus."

Judge Dick said she and her colleagues were "under a lot of pressure to get people out of custody for obvious reasons".

She framed her sentence to prevent the sex offender waiting in prison on parole until he was deemed eligible for release.

Judge Dick told the court the man had a "very relevant criminal history" and "the present offence involved a child of very tender years".

The man was sentenced to 149 days prison, which he had already served.

Judge Dick found the man had breached the prior court orders, extending his probation by two years and suspended sentence by a year.

She said she wanted the offender "supervised for as long as possible".

He quietly replied: "I do too, your honour."

Originally published as Coast child sex offender freed 'because of the virus'



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