Courts have the power, where appropriate, to make a paedophile restraint order where a person has been found loitering near children; or is required to comply with reporting obligations imposed by Part 3 of the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006 (SA) and either:
- the person uses the Internet to communicate with children that they have no good reason to communicate with; or
- the person has been found loitering near children on at least one previous occasion and there is reason to believe the person may, unless restrained, again loiter near children or use the Internet.[s 99AA(1) Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA)]
In considering whether to make an order the court considers a number of matters such as whether the person's behaviour aroused reasonable apprehension or fear in a child or if the person may act inappropriately towards a child. The court will also consider any prior criminal record, any evidence of sexual dysfunction suffered by the person and any other relevant matters. A child sexual offence relates to a child aged under 16 years and is widely defined to include rape, indecent assault, incest, unlawful sexual intercourse, gross indecency, child prostitution and any offence involving indecency or sexual misbehaviour. It also includes any attempts to commit these offences [s 99AA(3)].
The conditions of a paedophile restraint order can be quite broad and can restrain the person from loitering near children in any circumstances and from using the Internet in a specified manner [s 99AA(2)]. However, generally they are more restrictive, restraining the person from loitering near children in specified places or circumstances.
The procedure to obtain a paedophile restraint order is similar to a general restraining order intervention order [see further s 99AA Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA) and the section in this handbook on family violence].
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