Sentence a disgrace
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.