News

Ten years on run leads to jail for Gladstone man

TEN years of avoiding justice over a child sex crime came to an end for a Gladstone man on Wednesday.

Jonathan Shepherd gave himself up on July 18 and on Wednesday he faced the city's district court, where Judge Brad Farr imposed a nine-month prison sentence, with three months to serve.

On February 18, 2004, Shepherd pleaded guilty to one count of carnal knowledge of a girl under 16.

At the time he was sentenced to an 18-month probation order, which he promptly breached by re-offending.

Appearing in the same court in 2004, Shepherd was granted some leniency, landing a three-year probation order and 80 hours of community service.

Shepherd completed only nine hours of community service.

Several bench warrants were issued for his arrest.

In the meantime, the defendant had moved to the Northern Territory.

There, Shepherd's life deteriorated into one of substantial drug abuse, violence and avoiding the law.

The court heard that Shepherd had decided to hand himself into police in a bid to recover a relationship with his two young sons.

Judge Farr told the defendant his long run with leniency had come to an end.

"There is a blatant and continued disregard for the authority of the court," Judge Farr said.

"It might be time you started to repay the long suffering efforts of those who support you."

Topics:  child sex charges, district court, prison, probation



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