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Babysitter who bashed, abused toddlers free to live unsupervised

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Babysitter who bashed, abused toddlers free to live unsupervised

Post  Guest on Wed 18 Aug - 12:57

Babysitter who bashed, abused toddlers free to live unsupervised

March 19, 2010

A BABYSITTER who bashed and sexually abused toddlers - and then warned she would kill a baby - is free to live unsupervised in the community despite a judge's fears she will reoffend.

The Herald Sun went to court to reveal the name and picture of the woman to alert parents not to leave their children with her.

But a judge ruled her identity will remain a secret, at least until a new hearing next Tuesday. Police and prison authorities fear she could kill children based on her earlier warnings.

The woman, then 19, used a pillow to smother a two-year-old eight times until he turned blue while minding the toddler and his twin for a friend in 2002.

She inflicted sadistic sexual abuse on the boy, threw him out of his cot and punched his twin - because they were crying.

A psychologist has previously warned the woman is a danger to children and should not be allowed near them.

During treatment she said she would kill a baby and several experts rated her as at a high risk of reoffending.

But a County Court judge did not place her on an extended supervision order that would allow authorities to stop her contacting children.

Chief Judge Michael Rozenes said he was "reasonably satisfied" she would commit another crime and was a danger without supervision.

"I am reasonably satisfied she is likely to commit some sort of offence if released without an order," he said in his judgment, handed down.

But he has the power to impose a supervision order only if the woman is likely to commit more sex offences - even if there is a risk she might commit other serious non-sexual crimes.

The Herald Sun is seeking to have an order lifted to name the woman, as she is now free to live in the community.

Details of current expert reports about the woman's behaviour have also been suppressed.

The woman was jailed for five years with a minimum of two after pleading guilty over the assaults on the twins. She failed to have the term reduced on appeal and her sentence finished last year.

The Department of Justice appealed against Chief Judge Rozenes' decision not to put the woman on a supervision order, but abandoned it.

A psychologist's report from her sentencing in 2004 said the woman wanted to inflict pain on the children to punish their mother.

The woman confessed her crimes to a social worker and co-operated with police, but has not shown any remorse.

"(She) represents a danger to children and restrictions should be placed on her ability to be involved with them," the psychologist said. "There are no reliable predictors of when she may be of risk to children."

In March 2005, the Court of Appeal found community protection was paramount in sentencing the woman, given the crimes and her high risk of reoffending.

Yesterday, Chief Judge Rozenes found the woman had not shown any signs of wanting to commit sexual offences while in custody.

Supervision orders limit freedom, such as where a person can live and travel after they have finished serving their sentence.

The judge said such orders take away the liberty of a person and should be made only when there is evidence that the risk of sexual offending is high.

He said a lack of research on female sex offenders meant experts could only make educated guesses at her likelihood of reoffending.

Chief Judge Rozenes said it was clear that the woman needed continuing help from therapists.

"She could not function in society without such supports and probably presents as a danger both to herself and the community, absent supervision," he said.

"Many people find themselves in such a predicament, but it does not follow that the only way in which she can be adequately supported is by release on an extended supervision order."

Chief Judge Rozenes adjourned the Herald Sun's bid to lift an order suppressing the woman's name to next week.



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