Child sex offender with Byron Bay links gets parole

A CHILD sex offender and former navy sailor who pulled bodies from the water after the Voyager disaster in 1964 has been placed on a strict supervision order after his release from prison on parole.

Wayne Norman Baldwin's record of sexual offences against children began with a conviction in 1978 of indecent assault against a 15-year-old boy.

He was sentenced to six months hard labour.

Baldwin was convicted of a number of sexual offences in 1994 in Queensland committed against two children, aged 12 and 14.

He was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault in Byron Bay shortly after his release that same year and sentenced to 19 months behind bars.

The victim was a young teenage boy.

He was next jailed for nine months in 2007 after being caught loitering near the school of a 16-year-old boy he had a sexual relationship with.

Soon after, he was convicted of possessing child pornography and using a carriage service to transmit child pornography, having sent emails depicting children engaged in sexual acts to a 14-year-old boy.

Those crimes earned him a sentence of six years and three months, until his release on parole on August 9 this year.

Psychologist Dr Richard Parker told a Supreme Court hearing Baldwin developed post-traumatic stress disorder after his involvement in the HMAS Voyager disaster in 1964, which resulted in the deaths of 76 sailors.

After leaving the Royal Australian Navy, Baldwin had a number of other jobs including a stint working with the ambulance service.

Supreme Court Justice Helen Wilson said Baldwin had undergone prostate surgery, which left him impotent.

"Dr Parker noted that while the surgery altered the way in which the defendant offended (non-contact and non-penetrative offending), the surgery did not prevent the defendant committing further sexual offences," Justice Wilson said.

Satisfied Baldwin still posed a high risk of re-offending; Justice Wilson placed him on a 28-day interim supervision order pending further psychiatric examinations.

"The defendant's criminal history of itself suggests a degree of risk of the commission of further such offences, with the defendant apparently habituated to the commission of sexual crimes against children as a way of life," Justice Wilson said.

"It is clear from Dr Parker's evidence that the risk suggested by the defendant's past is, in fact, very real.

"Dr Parker has concluded that the defendant is a 'committed offender' whose engagement with rehabilitative programs is superficial, and directed to nothing more than obtaining and maintaining his liberty." -ARM NEWSDESK