Convicted rapist jailed for being in contact with children
A CONVICTED rapist who was not allowed any contact with children by court orders was caught by police squatting in the house of an elderly man, with two youngsters present.
Aaron John Leslie Bunt, 27, pleaded guilty to four charges in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today, including fail to comply with reporting and enter dwelling and commit indictable offence.
The court heard that between January 1 and March 30 this year, Bunt failed to comply with a reporting obligation, namely ongoing, unreported contact with a child.
Police prosecutor Nichale Bool told the court Bunt was convicted in Gympie District Court in October, 2016, for three counts of rape of a 12-year-old girl.
On March 12 this year, police had cause to attend Bunt's house in Tewantin, where he was warned about his contact with children.
On March 30, Mr Bunt was located at another address in Tewantin, which the court heard belonged to a 90-year-old man unknown to Bunt who was in care at the time.
Police had been alerted to squatters at the address by local residents. Bunt and two children were located at the address.
Bunt admitted to having contact with the children and accepted this was a breach of his reporting and did not provide a valid defence.
"The defendant confirmed he had no right to enter and did not know the lawful owner of the house," Ms Bool said.
"Since that time, he had been treating the address as his own - coming and going as he pleased."
Ms Bool told the court Bunt had three pages of "persistent" criminal history since 2015, with this being his fifth conviction for offences under the Child Protection Act.
"In 2016, he was convicted of three rapes in the high court where he received a head sentence of four years to serve 18 months," she said.
The court heard in June last year, Bunt had occupied the house of a deceased man for 18 months and when located by police, he was in the company of a 15-year-old female.
Bunt's lawyer Neesha Maidwell agreed jail time was an appropriate penalty.
"He wasn't able to find a house to live in, which is his explanation for living in the dwelling," she said.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said he needed to consider the safety of the community, particularly in the case of vulnerable people when he sentenced Bunt.
"Deterrence to you, personally, is very, very important because it seems to me you are fragrantly disregarding your obligations," he said.
"You have shown repeatedly that you won't be held to obligations as a result of historical offending."
He sentenced Bunt to 12 months jail, with a parole eligibility date of October 18.