Sen­tence for rapist and black­mailer ‘too le­nient’

The Advertiser - - NEWS - MITCH MOTT PO­LICE RE­PORTER

A CHOCO­LATE FruChoc is a FruChoc is a FruChoc, right?

The apri­cot-cen­tred milk choco­late is a leg­endary favourite with South Aus­tralians.

In­deed, it is her­itage listed by the Na­tional Trust.

But the com­pany be­hind the prod­uct has been busy de­vel­op­ing new flavours of the con­fec­tionery, such as straw­berry, white or dark choco­late and even a ve­gan ver­sion, to at­tract new cus­tomers.

Straw­berry FruChocs were launched in July and Robern Menz mar­ket­ing man­ager Polly Love said they had been THE sus­pended sen­tence handed to a rapist who twice abused a 14-year-old girl af­ter black­mail­ing her is too le­nient, pros­e­cu­tors will ar­gue.

The Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions con­firmed this week they have launched a Supreme Court ap­peal against the sen­tence of the 21-year-old man in the state’s South-East.

The man pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing child ex­ploita­tion ma­te­rial as “fan­tas­ti­cally” pop­u­lar. The new ve­gan-friendly FruChocs are a real find for peo­ple on plant-only di­ets – at a lower cost than many ve­gan spe­cial­i­ties. “Ve­gan treats are typ­i­cally three-four times the price of or­di­nary treats,” Ms Love said.

“So (dark choco­late) ve­gan well as two counts of rape against his 14-year-old vic­tim who he met over Snapchat.

How­ever Dis­trict Court Judge Gor­don Bar­rett de­cided to sus­pend the three year, six month sen­tence, cit­ing the man’s bor­der­line in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity and clean crim­i­nal record as rea­sons to spare him prison. But the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion re­viewed the sen­tenc­ing re­marks and de­cided to ap­peal.

The man con­vinced his fe­male vic­tim to send him naked pho­to­graphs in early 2017. FruChocs are very wel­come ad­di­tion to ve­gan di­ets.”

Robern Menz is a fourth­gen­er­a­tion fam­ily-owned busi­ness with more than 150 years of tra­di­tion. It is one of the coun­try’s largest Aus­tralianowned con­fec­tionery busi­nesses – pro­duc­ing more than 100

He then started black­mail­ing her, say­ing she had to make a deal with him or he would send the pho­tos to her fam­ily.

In Jan­uary 2017, he sent two of the pho­tos to the vic­tim’s older sis­ter in an at­tempt to black­mail the older sib­ling into hav­ing sex with him.

When that failed, he sent threat­en­ing mes­sages to his 14year-old vic­tim be­fore co­erc­ing her into his car.

He drove to the out­skirts of a town, near a ceme­tery, and forced her to have sex with him.

“When­ever she told you prod­ucts in­clud­ing Crown Mints, Choc Hon­ey­comb and JeliChocs. It ex­ports to coun­tries in­clud­ing USA, Canada, Ja­pan and South Korea.

The ad­di­tion of Vi­o­let Crum­ble to their man­u­fac­tur­ing will cre­ate 30 new jobs in Ade­laide and in­crease fac­tory that she did not want to do some­thing sex­ual with you, you re­minded her of the pho­to­graphs that you had,” Judge Bar­rett said.

“The girl was too fright­ened to tell any­one about what you were do­ing.”

The man black­mailed her into hav­ing sex with him again on an­other oc­ca­sion.

When the of­fend­ing came to light and he was ar­rested, the man lied to po­lice by claim­ing not to know the vic­tim.

How­ever, he even­tu­ally en­tered a guilty plea in the Mount pro­duc­tion by 37 per cent. Ms Love said the com­pany en­joyed hear­ing from cus­tomers and in­spired by their ideas. “We love con­sumer feed­back and are al­ways on the look­out for new flavours,” she said.

At the FruChocs fac­tory shop in Glynde, staff en­joy hear­ing from cus­tomers and are first to no­tice new trends.

Belinda McNa­mara said: “I am lov­ing the new straw­berry flavoured FruChocs. They are my new favourite.”

For Kiri Ka­ri­gia­nis, it’s all about eat­ing well. “I was so happy when they started mak­ing … ve­gan-friendly FruChocs.” Gam­bier Mag­is­trates Court. Judge Bar­rett said he had “some hes­i­ta­tion” in sus­pend­ing the sen­tence.

“There re­mains the dif­fi­cult ques­tion of sus­pen­sion,” Judge Bar­rett said. “Or­di­nar­ily it would be quite un­think­able to sus­pend the sen­tence of some­one who had pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a 14-yearold girl and ef­fec­tively black­mailed her with pho­to­graphs in the way you did.”

The Supreme Court will hear the ap­pli­ca­tion to ap­peal the sen­tence next week.

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