Police searching for registered sex offender Paul Kraft

A 55-year-old registered sex offender is being sought by police after he failed to comply with his reporting obligations.

Police say Paul Kraft, who is also known to use the alias Paul Fleming, is actively avoiding authorities and have made an appeal to the public for assistance to find him.

Paul Kraft, 55, is a registered sex offender who is wanted by police. Credit:Victoria Police

He is wanted on a warrant for failing to comply with obligations to report his residential details.

Investigators believe he is living in the Sandringham area, and is also known to frequent the bayside area of Melbourne, including Beaumaris, Black Rock, Mentone and Mordialloc.

He was last seen by police in January this year when he attended a police station to collect some property.

Assistant Commissioner Chris Gilbert said Kraft had “significant and serious” obligations in relation to his status as a registered sex offender.

“We don’t believe Paul Kraft to be a dangerous person, however, we do ask that if the public sees him, don’t approach him, simply call triple zero and we will send someone to see him,” she said.

An image of Kraft was released on Saturday. Anyone who recognises him or know his current location is urged to contact police immediately.

He is described as approximately 187 centimetres tall, with a medium build, short brown wavy hair, hazel eyes, a fair complexion and is clean-shaven.

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Missing sex offender arrested in Victoria

A registered sex offender who went missing in Victoria has been arrested.

Robert Harper was wanted on a warrant after he was allegedly a no show at the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court and did not tell police of his change in address.

Robert Harper

The 41-year-old Cabbage Tree man was arrested in Pakenham this evening.

Police had said they were last in contact with Harper on February 4. They said they believed he was actively avoiding them.
“The reason he’s on the registered sex offenders program is because of an offence in 2016 in Western Australia,” Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Chris Gilbert said.
“So he’s been put on the registry since 2016 in Western Australia and he’s now residing in Victoria.”

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GPS tracking ‘wouldn’t have stopped me’ committing crimes, says former Queensland youth offender

This week Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced trials of GPS tracking devices as a bail condition for repeat youth offenders, as part of a raft of measures aimed at tackling youth crime.

The moves were condemned as a “knee-jerk” response by former Northern Territory youth detention royal commissioner Mick Gooda and prisoner advocate Debbie Kilroy.

Reformed youth offender Ben, 19, (whose name has been changed for legal reasons) told the ABC a GPS tracker would not have slowed him down.

“It wouldn’t [have] stopped me from committing crimes,” Ben said.

“I’d get caught, obviously, but it wouldn’t stop me from doing what I did best, what I loved doing, things that were bad.”

Ben has been through the youth justice system multiple times.

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Appeal For Inadequate Sentence To A Pedophile, Granted By The DPP

Hamzeh Bahrami, a child sex offender who attacked a 10-year-old girl in the toilets of an Adelaide playground will serve at least two more years in jail after prosecutors launched a successful appeal.

The sentence that was handed to the offender in the South Australian District Court sparked a law reform after the 34-year-old secured a 40 per cent sentencing discount for pleading guilty to attacking the girl.

Bahrami was initially sentenced to four years and nine months jail with a non-parole period of three years, which makes him eligible for release in April 2022.

Before the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed against the penalty on the grounds it was “manifestly inadequate” he has already secured a 40 per cent discount on the sentence for pleading guilty to indecent assault and false imprisonment.

However, the Court of Criminal Appeal today agreed in re-sentencing Bahrami to seven years in jail with a five-year non-parole period for his crimes. 

According to Justice Mark Livesey, the sentencing discount of 30 should have been more appropriate. “Though a reduction of up to 40 per cent is available, I would not apply that reduction,” he added.

He said while the early guilty plea qualified Bahrami to a “very significant reduction” that was “counter-balanced” by the strength of the prosecution case, Bahrami’s initial refusal to candidly cooperate with police and his refusal to explain his offending.

All three Court of Criminal Appeal judges allowed the appeal, but Chief Justice Chris Kourakis would have imposed a slightly higher discount than Justices Chris Bleby and Mark Livesey.

On July, during the sentencing, District Court Judge Paul Slattery revealed that it was concerning how Bahrami could not explain his actions, describing the crime as “abhorrent in the extreme”.

The attack took place inside a toilet cubicle at a Blaire Athol playground while Bahrami’s young daughter and niece peered under the toilet door in April 2019. Consequently, the victim’s mother, in a victim impact, wrote that the attack on her daughter had left her family unable to trust anyone.

On the other hand, Bahrami wrote in an apology letter that the time in custody had granted him time to reflect on the seriousness of his crime.

“As a parent of a four-year-old daughter, I cannot imagine how I would react if someone abused her in the same way that I abused my victim,” he said.

“I fully accept that I may spend many years behind bars for my crimes but I hope that upon my eventual release, I will become a positive contributor to the community once again.”

Repeat workplace laws offender penalised again

A former Han’s Café franchisee in Perth is the first to be penalised by the court under the “serious contraventions” provisions of the Protecting Vulnerable Workers laws, for having underpaid vulnerable workers for the second time.

The Federal Circuit Court has ordered Tac Pham Pty Ltd, the former franchisee of the Han’s Café Rockingham outlet, to pay penalties of $191,646. The former general manager of the outlet, Cuc Thi Thu Pham, has also been ordered to pay $38,394.

The company and Pham were found to have underpaid 11 employees – including a number of young and migrant workers – a total of $5111 between October 2017 and April 2018. The employees were back-paid only after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced its latest investigation.

FWO inspectors discovered the contraventions while auditing the business. The breaches in the latest litigation related to underpayment of ordinary minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, minimum shift-pay and an allowance, and regular failures to provide payslips and to provide lawfully required information within payslips when they were issued.

Three of the contraventions – relating to failures to provide required information within payslips and underpayment of both adult and junior minimum wages – met the definition of “serious contraventions” under the Protecting Vulnerable Laws because of the repeat offences the operator committed.

Under the said laws, which came into effect in September 2017, the maximum penalties for serious contraventions are $630,000 per breach for a company and $126,000 for an individual, 10 times the penalties which would ordinarily apply.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker stated that the ruling highlighted the value of the serious contraventions powers in providing a significant deterrent for employers from continuously committing such offences.

“We will continue to make full use of the Protecting Vulnerable Workers laws to ensure that any individuals or companies who commit serious contraventions are held to account and understand the consequences of their failures,” Parker said.

“Repeat offending is simply unacceptable. Employers should also be aware that we treat cases involving underpayment of young and migrant workers particularly seriously, because we are conscious that they can be vulnerable due to factors such as a lack of awareness of their entitlements and a reluctance to complain. Any workers with concerns should contact us,” Parker added.

Tac Pham Pty Ltd and Pham were previously penalised in March 2018 for payslip law breaches against 22 staff who were underpaid $27,920 at the Rockingham café between December 2014 and December 2015. The respondents admitted to the latest violations.

Judge Christopher Kendall said the latest litigation revealed the extent of the non-compliance by the respondents had increased, despite commitments from Pham during the earlier court proceedings to improve payroll practices.

“The respondents had no intention of changing their conduct and would have continued as they had been if the [Fair Work Ombudsman] had not intervened when it did,” Judge Kendall said. “The fact that the respondents did not take steps to engage an external [payroll] consultant for over one year after they had said they would do so and only in response to the [FWO]’s investigation is, again, entirely unsatisfactory.”

The judge bemoaned the fact that the respondents failed to comply with the most basic obligations owed to employees describing their conduct as a “cavalier and entirely unacceptable approach to core legal obligations”.

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Alleged Kimberley sex offender Charles Batham to be extradited from Italy nine years after fleeing country

Alleged child sex offender Charles Batham is set to be extradited from Italy to face court in Western Australia after Italian authorities approved a request from the Australian Government.

Mr Batham fled Australia in 2011 after being charged with 31 child sex offences in the northern tourist town of Broome.

After nine years on Interpol’s Red Notice list, the 76-year-old was arrested in March this year in a coastal resort town in Italy after an ABC investigation published in February resulted in a string of reported sightings and tip-offs.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department has confirmed its extradition request had been approved.

“Australia is seeking Mr Batham’s extradition from Italy for prosecution in Western Australia for alleged child sexual offences,” it said in a statement.

“Australian authorities will work with Italian authorities to make arrangements for his surrender … [while] Mr Batham remains in extradition custody in Italy.”

Italian authorities swooped on Mr Batham in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there were concerns international travel restrictions would delay his return to Australia.

But the ABC understands detectives from the WA Police Force are hoping to travel to Italy before the end of the year to escort the Englishman to Perth.

It is not clear whether the charges will be heard in the Broome Magistrates Court or if the case will be relocated to Perth.

Mr Batham was spotted in Turkey after coverage of the case by the ABC earlier this year.(Facebook)

Tourist operator fled Kimberley after charges

Mr Batham was a well-known tourism operator who had lived in Broome for a decade at the time of his arrest.

The Englishman ran a successful ultra-light plane tour business and lived in a renovated double-decker bus.

The first allegations emerged in 2010, after police searched Mr Batham’s makeshift office and seized a large amount of material.

He appeared briefly in the Broome Magistrates Court in November that year to face charges of intent to expose a person under 13 to indecent matter, and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

At the time Mr Batham denied the allegations to his shocked friends.

Not long afterwards he slipped out of the country, catching a flight to Malaysia and moving on quickly to Europe.

The ABC later revealed authorities tracked his movements over the years and were aware he had been issued a passport under a new name in Britain in 2014, despite being listed on Interpol’s Red Notice register.

The coverage resulted in people in Turkey, Italy, and the United Kingdom passing on sightings, culminating in Mr Batham’s arrest in northern Italy in March.

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Police track down alleged child sex offender after 22 years

A MAN will reappear in court today after being extradited from Queensland on two outstanding warrants for alleged historic child sex offences.

In June last year, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad received information relating to an investigation from 1998, over allegations a young girl – then aged between 13 and 14 – had been sexually abused by a man who was known to her.

Detectives conducted numerous inquiries to locate a man they believed could assist with inquiries, however, he was not located at the time.

As a result, two NSW arrest warrants were issued in April 1999.

Earlier this year, detectives received information the man – now aged 44 – was residing interstate, and following further inquiries, he was arrested by officers from Queensland Police on Thursday, June 18.

The man appeared Brisbane Magistrates Court, where Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives applied for and were granted his extradition to NSW.

He was escorted to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with two outstanding warrants for child sex offences.

The man was also charged with nine additional offences including six counts of aggravated indecent assault (victim under the age of 16 years), four counts of sexual intercourse with person 10 or over and under 16 years, and detain for advantage without causing injury to victim.

He appeared at Lismore Local Court on June 19, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at Coffs Harbour Local Court today.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

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Toolbox killings accused jailed as serious offender after manslaughter guilty plea

A man has been sentenced to 13 years’ jail for his role in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found stuffed in a large metal toolbox that was dumped in a dam south of Brisbane.

Iuliana Triscaru and Cory Breton’s bodies were discovered in February 2016, 18 days after they were last seen alive.

Tepuna Tupuna Mariri, 29, was originally charged with two counts of murder but today pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of manslaughter, which was accepted by the crown.

He also admitted to torture.

The Supreme Court in Brisbane heard Mariri instructed others to close the windows to drown out the victim’s cries while they were being tortured and later tried “to distract neighbours who were worried about noises” coming from within the toolbox.

Justice David Boddice labelled the ordeal “sustained and brutal” and told Mariri his conduct had caused “indescribable grief” to the victims’ families.

“While you did not intend them to die, their deaths were a probable consequence.”

Crown prosecutor Dejana Kovac told the court Mariri was one of eight people charged over the deaths following a police investigation.

The bodies of Iuliana Triscaru, 31, and Cory Breton, 28, were found inside a large toolbox submerged in a dam.(Supplied: Queensland Police Service)

The court heard the victims were lured to a unit at Kingston, south of Brisbane, where they were assaulted and tortured for hours before they were forced into the large metal toolbox.

Rubbish and personal items were tossed inside the toolbox with Ms Triscaru and Mr Breton.

The court heard Mariri was among those who sat on the container to keep the victims inside.

The victims’ decomposing bodies were later found inside the toolbox, which had been submerged in a dam.

Ms Kovac said it was likely they died of suffocation or drowning.

Two policemen watch as a yellow crane truck lifts a black box in grassland
Police had to use a crane to retrieve the toolbox after it was discovered at Kingston.(AAP: Dan Peled)

Mariri’s defence barrister Tim Ryan said his client did not inflict physical harm on the victims during the torture and his “most direct involvement” was sitting on top of the box with others.

But Justice Boddice replied: “If a person is screaming in pain, even if you’re not the one inflicting the pain, the idea that you would instruct somebody to shut the windows so people can’t hear it suggests you are actively involved in this.”

‘You did this to her’

Mr Ryan said his client was susceptible to making poor decisions “not only because of the extent of his continued drug use, but there seems to be a misplaced sense of loyalty to others”.

Emotional victim impact statements were read aloud at the sentencing hearing.

Ms Triscaru’s mother wrote: “I wonder if she cried for me? I miss her so much.

“You did this to her. You did this to all of us.”

Justice Boddice took into account factors including Mariri’s pleas of guilty and the sentence imposed on a co-offender.

Mariri, who has spent more than 1,600 days in pre-sentence custody, will have to serve 80 per cent of his sentence under a serious violent offender declaration.

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Father of baby Gammy and convicted sex offender dies

The father of baby Gammy, the child that sparked an international surrogacy scandal, has reportedly died.

David Farnell is reported to have passed away after battling an asbestos-related illness.

Farnell and his wife Wendy became the centre of a global media storm in 2014 when their Thai surrogate mother accused them of abandoning one of their twin babies who was born with Down’s Sydnrome.

Pattaramon Chanbua accused the couple of wanting to take only Gammy’s “healthy” sister Pipah home to Western Australia.

The case captured the nation’s hearts and led to an outpouring of support for the young baby with more than $240,000 raised for him.

However the couple maintained they did not leave Gammy behind because of Down’s syndrome. They said they had been told he had a heart condition and would not survive days after his birth.

Farnell was also revealed to be a sex offender, having spent three years in jail for sexual offences against young girls in Bunbury. He was sentenced to a further 18 months for indecently dealing with a child under 13.

RELATED: Gammy’s case sparks surrogacy outrage

RELATED: Farnell’s tell all to 60 Minutes

However a judgment in the Family Court of Western Australia eventually sided with the parents.

“I am not persuaded that the Farnells ever asked for Mrs Chanbua to have an abortion, nor am I persuaded that Joy or Antonio (employees) ever discussed abortion as anything more than an option. Nevertheless, Mrs Chanbua gained the impression that the Farnells only wanted the ‘healthy’ baby,” Justice Stephen Thackray said.

Justice Thackray said it was clear Mrs Chanbua had “decided she was going to keep the boy”.

“While it is far from clear, I consider it likely that the Farnells became aware that Mrs Chanbua was talking about keeping the little boy. There was nothing they could do about this until the children were born, but I consider the Farnells were prepared to contemplate an outcome where they were only able to have the girl.”

The judge said he took the sex offender conviction into account when considering that Gammy’s twin sister should continue to be raised by the Farnells.

“In reaching my decision, I have primarily taken into account the strong attachments that Pipah has now formed with the Farnells and many others in Bunbury, as well as the quality of the care she is receiving,” the judgment read.

“While it is a matter of grave concern to leave any child in the home of a convicted sex offender, I have accepted the expert evidence that while there is a low risk of harm if Pipah stays in that home, there is a high risk of harm if she were removed. I have also taken into account the measures that can be put in place to ensure Pipah is kept safe.”

Gammy has remained in Thailand with his Thai surrogate mother and is reported to be doing well.

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Child sex offender Hamzeh Bahrami jailed over attack on young girl in Blair Athol toilet block

A man who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in a public toilet at a sports ground in Adelaide’s north has been sentenced to almost five years in prison.

Hamzeh Bahrami, 33, assaulted the girl multiple times at a Blair Athol playground and in a nearby toilet in April 2019 in front of his own young daughter and niece.

Judge Paul Slattery called the offending “abhorrent in the extreme” and said it was concerning Bahrami could not explain his actions.

The judge said the sentence took into account the fact that Bahrami accused the victim of lying, fabricated a version of events and allowed his innocent brother to be arrested over the incident.

Bahrami has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, with a non-parole period of three years.

He had pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of false imprisonment over the attack.

Police have previously said the victim had been playing at a park at suburban Blair Athol when she was approached by Bahrami.

The court heard last month she was on a swing set when he asked her where the toilets were.

The toilet block at Blair Athol where the attack occurred.(ABC News: Ben Nielsen)

Prosecutors said he then sexually assaulted her multiple times and threatened her inside a locked cubicle as his daughter and niece peered under the door.

Bahrami was arrested two weeks after the attack following a police campaign, which included officers doorknocking in the area.

His lawyers told Judge Slattery he feels immense shame over the incident, and cannot explain why he did it.

They said his own daughter is four years old and that he would be angry if she was attacked.

The victim’s mother provided a statement to the court about the impact of the crime on her now 11-year-old daughter.

It was not read to the court, but prosecutors said she had been significantly traumatised.

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