Thursday, July 21, 2011

Derryn Hinch sentenced to home detention: Guilty of contempt for naming two sex offenders

Norrie Ross | The Herald Sun | 21 July 2011

A magistrate today ordered that Derryn Hinch, 67, serve five months of home detention for naming two serial sex offenders in breach of serious sex offender laws.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg told Hinch today that he had several previous serious breaches of the law in his various "name and shame campaigns" over the years. Magistrate Rozencwajg made a number of conditions on the home detention order which will mean the "Human Headline" cannot communicate with his audience.

The magistrate said Hinch must not engage in gainful employment and must not use Facebook or Twitter or other social media to propagate his views. Hinch has also been ordered not to give media interviews and not to encourage others to pass on his views on his behalf.

Hinch was found guilty of five breaches of section 42 of the serious sexual offenders monitoring act by naming two rapists.

In his Melbourne Magistrates' Court sentence Mr Rozencwajg said the offences were committed in May, June and July 2008 when Hinch posted information on his website and publicly named the offender at a rally on the steps of state parliament.

"I would regard your actions as taking the law into your own hands and encouraging others to do the same," Mr Rozencwajg said.

The magistrate said that one of the ironies of the case was that HInch would probably be the last person in Victoria to be sentenced to home detention. He said that another irony was the fact that Hinch had campained for the abolishing of suspended sentences and encouraged the passing of a "one size fits all approach which removed judicial discretion" in sentencing.

Such an approach would lead to injustice, the magistrate said.

Mr Rozencwajg said that Hinch had a number of prior convictions for similiar offences but had not heeded the warnings given to him over the years about his conduct by various.

The magistrate said that if Hinch gave interviews to the massive media pack assembled at court today it would be in contravention of his order.

Hinch underwent a life-saving liver transplant earlier this month and was in hospital again yesterday to have a stent removed

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