Convicted child sex offender faces South Burnett court
A former police liaison officer and teacher convicted of child sex offences returned to court to face charges of failing to meet his reporting requirements.
Sam James Chambers pleaded guilty to failing to comply with reporting obligations in the Murgon Magistrates Court on February 9.
Chambers was convicted of two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 and sentenced in the Gympie District Count on July 23, 2019, to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Chambers, then 48, entered the 12-year-old girl‘s bedroom at a Gympie Southside property on September 8 2018.
Chambers began touching her while she lay frozen in fear, before taking his pants off and rubbing against her for about five minutes.
The young girl was terrified and tried to move when Chambers briefly stopped.
However, he resumed the assault and she lay still until he fell asleep.
The sentence was blasted as “manifestly inadequate” by the State Opposition at the time.
Police prosecutor sergeant Barry Stevens told the court the fresh charge occurred at The Range, Rockhampton, last year.
As part of Chambers’ sentence, he is required to provide certain information to police, including reporting any contact with children.
“On the 13th of December last year, police conducted a compliance check, during that investigation it was revealed that he had contact with his children,” Sergeant Stevens said.
Chambers was represented by ATSILS solicitor Leanne McIntosh, who tendered a letter of support and a letter from Chambers’ counsellor.
Ms McIntosh said Chambers had been the primary carer for his uncle, who was suffering from heart problems and then passed away on October 17, 2020.
“Your honour, in the days following his uncle’s death, Mr Chambers had been in contact with his ex-wife who lives in Rockhampton,” Ms Mcintosh said.
“Due to her concerns for him, she actually drove from Rockhampton to Brisbane to collect him and take him home to be with her so she could watch him.”
She also noted that Chambers had made admissions to police of his own volition about the contact with his children.
“But for his honesty, he probably wouldn’t be before the court here today,” she said.
She also noted that Chambers had misunderstood his reporting obligations.
“He did not understand from the obligations that he could see his children, he just had to report it,” she said.
“He had put himself under a self-isolation if you like from his children.”
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair took into account his early plea of guilty, and sentenced Chambers to 12 months of probation.
No conviction was recorded.