DPP v Tobin [2019] VCC 1709

Sentence summary: child sex offence

A man who was attacked and kidnapped after he was caught sexually assaulting a toddler in his care was jailed.

Wyatt Tobin, 21, pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 and one charge of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 12.

He was jailed for nine years with a non-parole period of six years.

The offender was left to look after his three-year-old step-niece while the young girl's parents were attending appointments at Centrelink.

Alone in their family home, the offender undressed the victim, placing her on his shoulder while he touched and licked her sexually.

The victim's parents returned home while this was happening and demanded he leave immediately.

While on the streets, a group of men sought revenge by assaulting and kidnapping the offender.

The Court heard he was assaulted and taken to a remote location where he was assaulted further, eventually losing consciousness and was taken to hospital.

While in hospital, police arrived to investigate the assault and the offender made admissions to police about his own offending.

The sentencing judge described the offending as "abhorrent", "degrading" and "depraved" while dismissing any argument that the victim had shown sexual affection towards the offender in the lead up.

"How this could be said to have been part of any justification for what you did is hard to imagine," the judge said.

"It reveals, as I said, a lack of real appreciation of the vile and abhorrent conduct that you and you alone were responsible for."

A serious breach of trust was an aggravating factor, the Court heard.

"Your brother and his partner trusted you to look after the child and her younger brother for a brief time, while they were away dealing with Centrelink," the judge said.

"Your abuse of that trust adds to the objective seriousness of your offending."

When considering the sentence, the judge noted the offender's youthful age and personality disorder as mitigating factors.

The offender also spent most of his childhood under the care of the state, as his parents were drug addicts.

However, the offender had an extensive criminal history for his age with prior convictions for burglaries and robberies committed as part of a group as a teenager. These matters were dealt with in the Children's Court in another state.

The presiding judge agreed with expert medical evidence that suggested the offender had a moderate chance of re-offending.

Given the seriousness of the offending and the prospect of re-offending, a sentence close to the maximum of 10 years was warranted, the Court heard.

The offender was also placed on the Sex Offender Register for 15 years.

Note: Wyatt Tobin is a pseudonym.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2020