Sen­tence a dis­grace

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION OURS & YOURS -

SIX years?

For ru­in­ing the child­hood of a vul­ner­a­ble kid, while pre­tend­ing to the world you were a trust­wor­thy se­nior para­medic, a lifesaving hero? What a joke. We’re not of­ten in the habit of rail­ing against le­nient judges, but in the case of am­bu­lance of­fi­cer Ron­ald Wil­loughby, who sys­tem­at­i­cally preyed upon his foster son Shane Rose, we’re dis­gusted.

Six years was the max­i­mum sen­tence im­posed yesterday in the Down­ing Cen­tre Dis­trict Court af­ter Wil­loughby pleaded guilty to the sex­ual as­sault of Mr Rose while in his care.

With time served, and with le­nience for good be­hav­iour, Wil­loughby could be out next year.

It’s a nau­se­at­ingly low sen­tence and dev­as­tat­ing for the po­lice and pros­e­cu­tors who did the right thing in bring­ing him to trial.

For his for­mer foster child, Mr Rose, it is a very dis­ap­point­ing reflection of the fact that Aus­tralia in 2019 has a very long way to go be­fore we truly recog­nise the grav­ity and im­pact of sex­ual offending against chil­dren.

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