Dad's warning after predator grooms young son

A BUNDABERG dad is urging parents to be vigilant after his eight-year-old son was groomed by a sexual predator.

The perpetrator faced court this month, two years after indecently touching the boy, but the boy's father is concerned the system allows these criminals to stay on the streets awaiting sentencing.

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"In the mean time he's still floating around, getting away with who knows what else," he said.

"As soon as you do something wrong with a kid it should've been straight to jail, do not pass go, that's it.

"We don't know anything about what happened in the time we made the complaint to when he went to jail."

The perpetrator was convicted of six counts of indecently dealing with a child under 12 and jailed for two years, suspended after four months, but the victim's father said the punishment was not enough for what the perpetrator did to his son.

"How the system works - I don't agree with it," he said.

"Two years - it should have been minimum without parole."

The father, who cannot be named to protect his son's identity, said the perpetrator used lollies to bond with his son and have a secret with him.

"He was egging the kids on regarding lollies," he said.

He was egging the kids on regarding lollies.

"I tried to put a stop to it, but he was hiding them from me and telling the kids 'put it in your pocket, don't tell your dad'. So basically luring the kids with something they shouldn't be doing."

The victim's father said it was his son who wanted to spend time with the perpetrator after he managed to convince their whole family he could be trusted.

"He was having a good time, going down the beach with him, playing footy. He was coming around every day, if not every second day."

"You'd think you could trust a friend. I trusted him; he seemed like a decent fellow."

The boy's father said he wanted to warn other parents what to look out for.

"Touching, cuddles, and definitely the lollies because every kid loves a lolly," he said.

The father said it never occurred to him what the perpetrator was up to and if his son hadn't told a friend, he might never have been found out.

"It upset me, I thought why is it happening to us?" he said.

"I feel part to blame because I said yes for him to come around, thinking he was a nice fellow.

"It destroyed my relationship with my wife."

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