Dad allegedly takes call for drugs during 'child abuse'
A 46-year-old father of five who a court heard was alleged to have taken a phone call for drugs during a sex act with a 15-year-old girl will stay behind bars until his next court date.
Remaining silent in the dock throughout his hearing on March 23 at Cleveland Magistrates Court, the Redlands man who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with five counts of indecent treatment of children under 16.
During the tense hearing the court heard the unemployed man, who lives in government housing with four of his children, allegedly interrupted a sex act with a 15-year-old girl to take a phone call to discuss drugs.
With his bail firmly denied for fear that he may "intimidate witnesses" and to protect "a very vulnerable child", the court was told the man had allegedly created fake Facebook accounts to contact the alleged victim after she broke off the allegedly illegal relationship.
"During one of these alleged sexual incidents he has stopped to allegedly take a call for drugs," Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.
"And if he has drugs in his life he shouldn't be taking care of kids."
But it was an attempt by the defence to communicate their client's reason for sending the girl texts that drew the ire of the magistrate.
"On my instructions, he has attempted to show the victim child that she is loved," Defence solicitor Bruce Johnstone said.
The submission was swiftly interrupted by a disgusted magistrate.
"It makes my skin crawl, don't even go there," Magistrate Vasta said.
"He should know better; it makes me want to vomit that he somehow now thinks that saying 'I love you' and sending text messages is somehow innocent when viewed against these allegations."
Mr Johnstone told the court that his client made admissions to spending time with the child, including watching a movie and sending text messages but denied any sexual contact with her and would be fighting the charges.
"His main concern is to provide food and schooling for his kids," Mr Johnstone said.
Deemed too great a risk for the community the defendant was kept in remand and will next appear at court on April 22.
Originally published as Dad allegedly takes call for drugs during sex act with 15-year-old