Convicted child rapist avoids jail after contact with boy
A convicted child rapist has narrowly avoided more jail time after he was caught in contact with a 14-year-old.
Troy Alan Christie, 47 pleaded guilty to fail to comply with reporting in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Friday.
Police prosecutor James Allen told the court Christie was jailed for three years which was wholly suspended for three years in the Townsville District Court on March 11, 2019.
At the time of his sentence, he had served four months in custody.
“As the result of previous convictions for the rape and indecent treatment of a child under 16, Mr Christie is a reportable offender,” Mr Allen said.
The court heard that Christie’s order has a condition that contact with children under 18 must be made to the child protection offender registry in Brisbane within 24 hours of the contact of taking place.
“On November 30, police had cause to attend Mr Christie’s home address at Mooloolaba for a routine compliance check,” Mr Allen said.
“They were met at the address by a female adult and it was established she had three children with her.
The court heard the female told police she was a friend of Christie’s and was visiting the address.
“A further child was present and was identified as a 14-year-old,” Mr Allen said.
“It was established that he had been staying at the address since the previous evening again while Mr Christie was present.”
The court heard Christie was within the 24-hour reporting period for the other children.
After Christie returned home, he admitted to police he was aware the contact should have been reported.
Mr Allen told the court the breaches were seen as a total disregard for the orders.
“There must be strong individual deterrence in sentencing for defendants to change their behaviour,” he said.
Mr Allen submitted that after taking into account Christie’s history, actual jail time would be suitable.
Defence lawyer Chris Lummy said while he realised Christie’s history was serious, the victims of his rapes had all been female.
“My client had contact with a 14-year-old teenage boy,” he said.
“The circumstances were that his father was present and they had been fishing the previous night, the three of them.
“There is no suggestion that my client has had any sexual interest in teenage boys.”
The court heard Christie was a truck driver.
“He has a number of other health issues that would make time in actual custody very difficult for him,” Mr Lummy said.
“He was assaulted last year and lost vision in his left eye.”
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said it didn’t matter that it was a boy, all children had to be protected.
“Mr Christie, this is rather unfortunate set of circumstances but you also have to understand it’s all of your own making,” she said.
“Your history shows a complete disregard for the community concerns.”
“I understand,” Mr Christie replied.
“It’s just taking some time to get used to it all.
“I’ve been through so much – stage four cancer, jail, losing my family, losing my uncle and cousins.”
Mr Christie said since the charge in November, he hadn’t stepped out of line.
“I work 50 hours a week, I don’t stop,” he said.
“I’ve just been under so much pressure and I forgot, it’s just an honest mistake. That’s all it was.”
Ms Baldwin sentenced Christie to four months jail with an immediate parole release date.
“The next four months will be very scary for you, but I also have to recommit you to the District Court for the breach of your suspended sentence,” he said.