Former Deputy Mayor of Noosa Frank Pardon is serving just 18 months for the sexual assault of a child! When will judges learn that child abusers ARE NOT people of good character !
Noosa councillor and former deputy mayor Frank Pardon will serve at least 18 months in jail after being found guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage girl in the 1990s. Judge Glen Clash yesterday sentenced Pardon to three years in jail, suspended after serving half the term.
The scary part is he could have kept his job if he wasn’t sentenced to a custodial sentence. Despite this, Noosa Council Mayor Tony Wellington had declared Frank Pardon was not welcome back at council offices. He had said he would just leave the role vacant as a by-election was not required within six months of a scheduled election.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said local government laws need to change to prevent situations where offenders could return to their jobs. He said they had previously campaigned for the changes, but Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe was yet to implement them.
He said Pardon’s offending was “serious” and would have had huge “psychological impacts” on the victim.
“What you did was to allow your sexual interest in the complainant to overcome the realisation that what you were doing was seriously wrong,” Judge Cash said.
During the trial, the court heard Pardon assaulted the young teenage girl over several months at a Sunshine Coast business, in his vehicle, and home. In one instance he drove the victim and her friend to a business and supplied them with alcohol before kissing and touching the victim in front of her friend.
The acts occurred before Pardon was elected to council, he was charged over the offences in early 2017. Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said the most serious aspect of the offending was the age disparity between Pardon and the victim. He would have been in his 40s and she just 14 years old !
He told the court Pardon had shown no remorse for the acts, having denied the allegations since being charged.
“He pursued her … acted to have a sexual relationship with her, she was too young to understand what was happening,” he said.
“It was concerning he was willing to pursue his sexual interest in [the victim] even in front of another person.”
This sadly is stereotypical of many child abusers, who don’t see their horrendous actions as being detrimental to the child, many of them believe they are doing the right thing by their victims. Let me be clear, this is not a loving relationship, this is repeated sexual assaults on an innocent victim.
Even though Pardon, and other child abusers, might not think they did anything wrong, the damage is real and can take a life time to heal from.
Pardon’s defence barrister Andrew Hoare had suggested Pardon should only be sentenced to three years in jail due to his “character since the offending,” his lack of criminal history, his role in the community as a councillor and having volunteered for various charity organisations. The judge must have agreed as he was given a 3 yr sentence, suspended after just 18 months.
One of the proudest moments of our career here at FACAA was when we helped bring in the changes recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. One of those changes that came into NSW was that child sex abusers will not be allowed to use the “person of good character,” reference to get time off their sentence. This was brought into NSW by the Attorney General Mark Speakman simply because CHILD SEX ABUSERS ARE NOT PEOPLE OF GOOD CHARACTER ! No matter who they were before they were a child sex abuser, once they hurt a child they are no longer people of good ANYTHING !
When are judges Australia wide going to realise that child abusers are NOT people of good character and stop accepting this as a reason to lessen their sentence.
Throughout the eight-day trial the court heard from a number of witnesses including the victim, her former school friend and family, Pardon and his ex-wife. One witness gave evidence of a phone call with Pardon, where he described having a “serious emotional relationship” with the teenager and admitted being regretful about her age.
The witness said Pardon was “obsessed” and in love with the girl. The court also heard a phone recording between the victim and Pardon years later where he could be heard telling the woman he would have left his wife for her, “It was hard you were so young, I remember saying until you were 16 or older I didn’t want to do anything over the top”.
Pardon strongly denied all allegations of the assaults and relationship. He told the court he told hundreds of women he’d leave his wife for them as a “term of endearment”, and described the allegations as rubbish and “acts of a lesser man”.
Yes….Mr Pardon, we agree with the courts, they are all acts of a lesser man. YOU !
It seems unbelievable but he could have literally kept his job if he was given an intensive corrections order or anything less than a suspended sentence. We would like to say how happy we are that the current mayor Tony Wellington got ahead of this drama and literally said that Pardon is not welcome back in council offices ! Well done Mr Wellington ! We only wish all mayors put the kids safety ahead of protecting their old friends.
Frank Pardon was found guilty of sexually abusing a 14 year old girl while he was in his 40s, this isn’t a simple mistake this was a deliberate predatory action for which he deserves to do serious prison time!