Thursday, July 3, 2008

Paedophile Ferguson suing for 'victim of crime' compo

A man from Ipswich, in south-east Queensland, is being sued by convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson.

Police have confirmed Ferguson last night left the south-west Queensland town of Miles after a protest by angry residents.

Ferguson had arrived in Miles earlier this week after a judge threw out child sex charges he was facing and ordered a permanent stay of proceedings.

The Brisbane judge said the Crown case was weak and that Ferguson could not receive a fair trial because of the publicity surrounding his previous convictions.

Queensland Attorney-General Kerry Shine has lodged an appeal against the judge's decision.

Noel Watterson is serving a six-month suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of threatening Ferguson when he moved to Ipswich in 2005.

Speaking on ABC Radio, Mr Watterson said he probably threatened to kill Ferguson.

Mr Watterson says Ferguson is now making a claim for compensation as a victim of crime.

But he says he was not the only one who protested.

"I sang out abuse and everything," he said.

"He reckons I threatened to kill him. The word 'kill', I don't know whether I mentioned that, I probably did.

"It's only me that's copped the whole brunt of all this."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has this morning told Fairfax Radio that people are entitled to know if a paedophile is living in their area.

"My general view is that the community has a right to know but I'm also aware of the fact that these require detailed and sensitive decisions by the competent legal authorities," he said.

However, the Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) says laws should be changed to ban the media from revealing the addresses of released paedophiles.

CCL president Terry O'Gorman says some elements of the media have been irresponsible.

"Some in the media have been setting out to make the news and then step back and report on the very news that they have made," he said.

"The media have been responsible for revealing Ferguson's address - that has inspired vigilante-ism [sic]."

Ferguson has been moved to a new, undisclosed location.


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