For­mer premier’s son jailed for 11 child sex of­fences

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham and Gary Ad­shead

For­mer premier Peter Dowd­ing has de­scribed his son’s jail­ing for child sex of­fences in the State’s north as a “great tragedy on all sides”.

Kim­ber­ley Dean Dowd­ing, 42, has been sen­tenced to more than three years be­hind bars af­ter plead­ing guilty to 11 counts of sex­u­ally abus­ing two girls in Roe­bourne who were between the ages of 13 and 15 at the time of the of­fences.

The crimes took place between Oc­to­ber, 2015, and Novem­ber last year and in­volved cash be­ing paid for sex­ual favours.

Dis­trict Court Judge Michael Gething heard ev­i­dence of a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sim­i­lar cases of sex­ual ex­ploita­tion in Roe­bourne, which had re­sulted in about 30 men be­ing charged.

“There are peo­ple who emerge from that par­tic­u­lar type of en­vi­ron­ment, for whom this sort of con­duct has be­come en­trenched,” Dowd­ing’s lawyer Jim Suther­land said.

The for­mer premier sent a let­ter to the court about his son’s case and the wider is­sues con­fronting Roe­bourne.

“I would ask this court to take into ac­count the very un­usual cir­cum­stances of these charges,” the let­ter read.

“In par­tic­u­lar, there are some 30 or more men with whom this and other young girls have been sex­u­ally ac­tive, as a re­sult of which, a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of the Roe­bourne com­mu­nity is fac­ing sim­i­lar charges.”

The court was told Mr Dowd­ing’s son ap­proached the girls out­side his Roe­bourne home and of­fered cash and cig­a­rettes.

Both girls de­clined, but one later re­turned and en­gaged in oral sex with Dowd­ing for money, an ar­range­ment which the court was told oc­curred five more times.

At times, the girl would seek out Dowd­ing for a sex-for-money trans­ac­tion.

He will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role in June, 2019.

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