Friday, 31 January 2014

A Broken System Fails Our Children


Today NSW Lower House interfered with the justice system agreeing in favour of intitiatives to tackle Australia's night life deaths, with one of the initiatives being mandatory eight-year prison terms for anyone who fatally punches someone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Yesterday a repeat offender was given a sentence of seven years for the rape of a three year old girl in a public library, just meters from her mother, the sixth child victim he has been charged with raping over the past twenty years.  This man has received seven years, eligible for parole after only four and a half years.  There is something very wrong with a judicial system that deals with the senseless and stupid act of a young man with this kind of retribution and punitive initiative but allows a serial child rapist to be out and able to re-offend after only four and a half years.

Sign the petition for Change and Protect our Children.

In 2002 Andrew Davies was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of two six year old girls, following another predatory rape of another and for repeatedly lying in wait in other areas for children to sexually abuse.  Sentenced in Victoria.

Robert Fadon jailed for almost three decades in Townsville and Brisbane jails for serious sex offences against children and women, and was the first prisoner to be detained indefinitely under the state's controversial Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act, which was introduced in 2003.  Fardon was intially sentenced for the rape a 12-year-old girl and assault of her 15-year-old sister. He was released in 1988 and raped again while on parole.  In 1988, less than a month after completing eight years of a 13-year sentence, Fardon raped and sodomised a woman in north Queensland. He was jailed for another 14 years.  He is free now under 34 strict conditions, including notifying authorities of any intimate relationship; not visiting any place that houses children or people with intellectual disabilities and ongoing counselling.  Sentenced in Queensland.

Here are two Australian states that have responded in favour of the protection of children and the removal of the presence or strict control of the movements of these offenders.  Now to the way Canberra has handled serial child sex offenders.

Shane Williams, forty years old, has had a life of abuse and suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his own father.  He has in his life abused at least 5 children.  In 1996 he was arrested and charged for the abduction and molestation of three girls aged between 6 and 10.  Already a repeat offender, he was sentenced to 5.5 years with parole after 3.5 years.  After his most recent rape of a three year old in a public place. he has been sentenced in Canberra to only four and a half years before being eligible for parole, a combined sentencing for the bashing of his neighbour and the rape of a three year old girl.  He is considered beyond reform and likely to re-offend.  Sentence handed down by Chief Justice Helen Murrell.

Michael Cooper received only 12 months of weekend jail term with two years suspended sentence for uploading videos of child sexual abuse and being discovered to have Australia's largest child pornography collection.  Canberran  judges deemed this sentence too lenient, he will be continuing weekend detention until November.

Russel Cornish, 70 years old is known to live in QLD and the ACT.  He is a repeated child sex offender and is still suspected of traveling to Asian countries to abuse boys.  One of his victims, a ten year old boy has been left suicidal.

Kimrae Fortaleza, 22 years old and sentenced to three years jail for his third incident of sexual abuse of a child, this third count for intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 16.

Paul Hayes, serial sex offender.  Found guilt in 2011 of five counts of assault and one count of attempted intercourse has been sentenced to two years.  He has a previous conviction for inappropriate touching of a minor in 2002.

Aaron Holiday, 28 years old, a self employed child care worker and trainee scout leader.   Pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography,  one count of committing an act of indecency on a child and eight counts of intercourse with boys.  This repeat offender will be eligible for release in 2016.  He has been found to be committing sexual crimes against children since the age of 21 with increasing severity and has not demonstrated any ability for reform.  Aaron Holidays sentenced was halved on appeal in 2013 despite the fact he has sent threats to kill, sending one boys family into hiding.  Holliday abused two of his victims while on bail for showing pornography to a third, despite court orders forbidding him from being with children. Sentence reduced by Chief Justice Terence Higgins, Justice Hilary Penfold and Justice John Dowsett. 
Justice Penfold recommended an 11-year sentence with a minimum of 6 years to serve.
But Chief Justice Higgins and Justice Dowsett, by majority, halved the sentence to eight years, with a non-parole period of 5  years.  Due to this reduction Aaron Holiday will be free in October this year.

Liam Taylor, aged 35, sentenced to a pitiful 6 months in 2011 for the molestation of a girl aged 4 or 5.  Sentenced by Chief Justice Higgins.

William Brady, aged 45, walked free in 2012 after being discovered grooming a 14 year old Canberra boy for sex and organising a ticket for the boy to travel to Sydney to have sex with him and his boyfriend.  Brady is HIV positive, he walked free after spending 58 days in custody because the presiding judge, Chief Justice Higgins was of the opinion that any sentence would be a death sentence.

Only one sentencing of a Canberran child predator has been stricter than the mandatory eight years for a one punch death, this was handed to a man who killed another man over a dispute and then raped his ten year old stepdaughter, kidnapping her and raping her again.  He received thirty years in prison for his crime.  He had previously raped a five year old and a nine year old.

All of these pedophiles have lived and committed crimes in the Canberra region.  All of them have demonstrated an increase in the depravity and severity of their assaults.  All of these pedophiles are repeat offenders.  The laws must be changed to ensure public safety from this type of criminal, particularly because it aims to improve the safety of the public's most vulnerable members and it is these children and disabled members of our community that this kind of depraved human being preys upon.




Saturday, 28 September 2013

Craft - Felt Animal Masks

There are not many cool felt animal masks for a child's Lion themed birthday party so I thought I'd make some.  Started with a simple super hero mask idea and just sketched out how I thought I could transform these into animals.  I was really happy with the end product and the children all looked adorable.  If I could go back in time I would have just bought Seed Jungle Party Masks.  My Google-Fu failed me this time but I learnt a lot about random craft stuff and beefed up my sewing kit.

Materials:
  • acrylic felt
  • cotton
  • pins
  • heat n seal
  • sewline fabric glue pen
  • one sheets of stiff, white felt.  It came out of a cheap pre cut set of something so I do not know what type of felt it was. Scavenge felt.
  • elastic.  White is alright but black would have been better.





Process:

1. The first thing is to print out the pattern on normal paper and cut it out.

* This is the point that you should place the pattern against the child it is for and make sure the gap between the their eyes isn't going to make the mask uncomfortable or difficult to see through.  This was my biggest problem with making these but because of the heat and sew it was easy to get a bit brutal with the end result and cut to fit after they were finished.  I did not include a pattern for the embellishments.
** Use a piece of paper between the iron and the mask to stop the sticky heat and sew from getting on your iron.

2. All of the masks except the tiger, elephant, crocodile and monkey were based on the same super hero mask pattern.  The main mask pattern only needs to be printed out once and re pinned whenever used.

3. Pin the pattern to the felt using sewing pins and cut the felt to the same shape as the pattern.  Two pieces need to be cut for the mask.

4. Trace around the main mask shape on the paper side of the heat n seal, cut around.

5. Iron the plastic side of the heat and seal to the back piece of the mask so that when you attach it to the front the heat and seal will be in the middle.  Follow the directions in the heat n seal pack but even then I still made mistakes.  It should not tear away from the felt you have ironed it to.  If it does you should just cut another bit out and start again.  Flick the corner like a difficult sticker until you clearly see the almost rubbery, clear piece of heat n seal separate from the paper backing.  It comes off easily after that.

6.  This is the point you want to pin the ears the the back mask piece.  Run a single line of stitching across the pinned ear to secure it.

7.  Wherever embellishments are used like the monkeys cheeks, pale face area, and inner ear secure these with the glue pen and then stitch around them.  Because I made so many this became a bit of a production line and with the tiger and zebra especially, I was glad not to have them moving around while I was trying to sew.

 7a. One thing I did not do and it meant the eyelashes were not long lived.  I recommend sewing around the eyelashes or at least up the centre so that the felt does not stretch too much and come apart with use.

7b.  In the case of the flamingo sew once down either side of the beak puckering it up enough that it sits forward and out rather than going flat when the mask is worn.

8.   Pin and sew the elastic in between the mask pieces.  Put the elastic on with the edge sticking out sew across then fold back and do a reverse stitch across it again to make a really secure head band without adding weird bulk to the mask.

9. Now following the heat and sew directions, iron the front piece of the mask to the back.  Use your paper protection again to stop the iron getting dirty.

10.  Sew around the entire mask, in the case of tiger and money sew around the entire ear and mask.  Sew around the eye holes.

Enjoy.



































Monday, 2 September 2013

Church Renovation

It has ticked over four years and we are still going but the end is close and we spent our first night sleeping in actual beds in a carpeted bedroom.  It is bliss and so beautiful.  Everyone who has worked on this is fantastic and anyone looking for a builder in Sydney or the Blue Mountains should get a quote from Luke O'mara.  He is the person who has made this build a good experience with amazing outcomes.






























The process:
 This is before we purchased.


















It was a long time between buying and starting the build.  Going through council we learnt a lot about the process to renovate a heritage listed property.  First get a good architect and then worry about Conservation Management Plan and Statement of Heritage Impact.  We went with a heritage architect to begin with and it was like he was working for the building rather than for us and the heritage consultant from council was the person who gave us the permission to make our own heritage architects design liveable.  So more than two years after purchase, another baby and many fish and chip picnics in the slopping floored church we started to find a builder.