Polling booth shock

The Free Press (Corowa) - - NEWS -

The em­ploy­ment of a con­victed child sex of­fender to check-off vot­ers at the Ruther­glen Pri­mary School vot­ing cen­tre on Sat­ur­day has left par­ents and lo­cals hor­ri­fied.

Ac­tor Jeremy Kew­ley, well-known for his roles in Blue Heel­ers, Neigh­bours and Stingers, was among the Vic­to­rian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (VEC) staff at the school.

In 2016, the 58 year-old was sen­tenced to 23 months in jail af­ter plead­ing guilty to sex­ual as­saults on boys aged be­tween nine and 14.

Lo­cal fa­ther Dar­ren Trevaskis spoke to the Free Press say­ing he has com­plained to the VEC af­ter he and his wife recog­nised Mr Kew­ley when they were in line to vote.

“I was dis­gusted to see a pae­dophile mark­ing off names in our com­mu­nity,” Mr Trevaskis said.

“We were ac­tu­ally talk­ing about him at the pub on Fri­day night.

“We loved him as an ac­tor and know him from Blue Heel­ers, we were just com­pletely shocked to see him there the next day.

“Ini­tially I was just in shock, like ‘wow, how can they let him be here do­ing a gov­ern­ment job, how is he at a bloody school? He’s a crim­i­nal.

“I’m just thank­ful I didn’t have my kids there with me when I was vot­ing, and I know other peo­ple would have. It’s re­ally scary stuff.”

The VEC would not com­ment di­rectly on the hir­ing of Kew­ley, cit­ing pri­vacy laws.

A VEC spokesman has been re­ported in say­ing the VEC did not re­quire crim­i­nal con­vic­tions to be ex­posed by those em­ployed for polls. The VEC has deemed crim­i­nal checks to not be a manda­tory re­quire­ment of the re­cruit­ment process for elec­tion ca­su­als.

Of­fend­ers have to keep po­lice aware of their move­ments for a pe­riod as part of reg­is­ter con­di­tions.

This im­age of Jeremy Kew­ley was taken at the Ruther­glen Pri­mary School polling booth on Sat­ur­day and posted on Face­book.

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