Court Cases: The R V. Paul Smith Case

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Overview I attended the Brisbane District Court on the 27th of August 2015, to observe the sentencing hearing in the matter of R v Harris. The proceedings were presided by his honour Judge Paul Smith. The accused was charged with: • One count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under care. • Four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 under care. • Two counts of carnal knowledge with a child under 16 under care. The accused pleaded guilty to all charges and did not submit any reasons as to why sentence should not be passed in response to the allocutus. Facts…show more content…
She was appointed as a special education teacher at a secondary school, where the complainant was her student. The complainant was 14-15 years old at the time, suffering from mild autism coupled with learning disorders. The complainant and accused commenced a relationship in mid-2011, and first engaged in penetrative intercourse on New Year’s Eve of that year. After this, the pair had multiple sexual encounters in parks and at the accused’s unit. They were also observed engaging is public displays of affection by other students. Moreover, the accused supplied the complainant with alcohol and cannabis; however, no charges were brought in relation to this. The relationship collapsed in mid-2013. Consequently, the complainant experienced depression and displayed suicidal tendencies. He eventually revealed details of the relationship to his mother who alerted the police. The accused denied all allegations on initial questioning. She was charged on the 25th of January 2014 and confessed to the offences on this date. Legal

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