A “HIGH risk” sex offender who was arrested in Bendigo on Friday after failing to tell police about his new address has been convicted and placed on a community corrections order.
Barry Robert Dettman, 52, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Monday to failing to comply with his Sex Offenders Register reporting obligations.
The court heard Dettman lives a “transient” life between Werribee and Bendigo and has struggled to find a fixed address for several years.
He was arrested in Werribee on January 18 when he was found living at a different address to the one provided to police. Dettman was fined $500 and released.
Dettman, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia 18 years ago, was spotted in a “psychotic state” in Werribee on February 9 but was gone by the time police arrived.
Police attended Dettman’s registered residence on February 21 but the occupants said he had moved out a week earlier.
Police appealed to the public for information about Dettman’s whereabouts on March 2, describing him as a “high risk sex offender”, and he was arrested in Golden Square later that day.
In the police interview, Dettman claimed he “didn’t think he had done anything wrong”. The court heard police messaged him three weeks earlier asking him to attend a police station, but Dettman did not respond.
Dettman was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for eight years from February last year for indecent acts in the presence of a child and wilful and obscene exposure. The offending occurred in Melbourne and Bendigo.
He must update his details with police when he changes address.
Defence counsel Glenn Cooper said Dettman was “couch surfing” and living in “various places”, but had found stable accommodation in Golden Square.
Magistrate Patrick Southey said Dettman needed “guidance and supervision” to deal with his mental health problem otherwise he would continue to offend.
“These obligations can be onerous and lengthy, but he hasn’t been able to comply with the most fundamental ones,” he said.
“They’re worried about where you’re going to be living.
“You were fined in January for breaching these obligations, and you just continued to breach them ever since.
“You want to get on with the rest of your life, you clearly need help in doing that.”
Dettman was placed on a 12-month community corrections order, and served three days in custody.