Outcry over Gympie child sex offender's light sentence

A FIVE month jail sentence for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Gympie has been blasted as "manifestly inadequate" by the State Opposition, who want it reviewed.

Opposition spokesman for the Attorney-General David Janetzki wants the State Government to appeal the sentence given to former teacher and police liaison officer Sam James Chambers, who pleaded guilty in Gympie District Court last month to repeated sexual assault of a child.

"Indecent treatment of a child under 16 carries a maximum sentence of 14 years' jail," Mr Janetzki said.

"This paedophile spent just five months in jail and is now free in the community.

"The length of the sentence handed down does not adequately reflect the gravity of the offence committed," he said.

 

Child abuse.
Child abuse. airdone

Chambers, 48, entered the 12-year-old girl's bedroom at a Southside property on September 8 last year.

Chambers began touching her while she lay frozen in fear, before taking his pants off and rubbing against her for about five minutes.

The young girl was terrified and tried to move when Chambers briefly stopped.

However, he resumed the assault and she lay still until he fell asleep.

Chambers was convicted of two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 and sentenced in the Gympie District Count on July 23 to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

 

Gympie District Court House.
Gympie District Court House. Patrick Woods

Mr Janetzki raised concerns that the 165 days Chambers spent in pre-sentence custody was deemed as sufficient time served.

"I am calling on the Government to seek urgent legal advice and appeal the District Court decision on the grounds that the sentence is manifestly inadequate.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett supports Mr Janetzki's push for an appeal and noted Chambers was a former police liaison office and teacher.

"The safety of children in our community is paramount and we always need to ensure victims and their families come first," Mr Perrett said.

Gympie Times

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