Sick sex offender rushes to confess to win sentence cut
The sex offender who vowed to infect children with HIV will be one of the last criminals to receive up to 30 per cent off his sentence thanks to a rushed, deadline-beating confession.
Jadd William Brooker was not scheduled to face the Adelaide Magistrates Court again until January, but had his matter called on at short notice on Friday.
He pleaded guilty to seven of the 44 charges filed against him so far - just 72 hours before sweeping legislative change that slashes the maximum discount from 40 per cent to just 25 per cent.
Had Brooker pleaded guilty within four weeks of his arrest, he would have received the 40 per cent discount - instead, he will be entitled to have his eventual penalty reduced by up to 30 per cent.
On Monday, that 30 per cent discount drops to just 15 per cent under the new laws.
The Advertiser has learnt Brooke entered his pleas before police have even finished their investigations or finalised the case they intend to put against him.
Sentencing discount legislation was designed to recognise early guilty pleas as a sign of genuine contrition and remorse, which therefore deserved a court's leniency.
Brooker was also not alone in his rush to confess on Friday.
The Adelaide Magistrates Court convened a special sitting for the purpose of dealing with defendants who wanted to enter pleas before the discount laws change next week.
"This court has been convened as a plea court for the purposes of the discount legislation," Magistrate Brett Dixon said.
Even with that arrangement, an additional 12 cases were added to the list just minutes before the session began at 10.30.
Cases suddenly called on included several men charged with child sex offending and an alleged attempted murder committed with a samurai sword.
Opposition legal affairs spokesman Kyam Maher, whose earlier bid to change discount laws was voted down by the State Government, said he was appalled by the situation.
"The charges Brooker is facing are abhorrent and shocking … he has now sprinted to plead guilty before the sentencing discounts change next Monday," he said.
"The government literally left the door open for him to get out of prison early … their inaction means Brooker, and others like him, will be back on the streets earlier.
"South Australian families are more at risk because of Liberal inaction."
Previously, prosecutors had alleged Brooker, 38, of Glenelg East:
EXPRESSED the "intention to infect both children and adults with HIV".
HAD ongoing, illegal sexual relationships with two teens - one of whom has since died by suicide, the other of whom is awaiting HIV testing results.
INDUCED the second teen to perform sex acts which, once recorded on video, can be counted among child exploitation material of the "worst category" recognised by law.
CAN be connected to more than 40 other alleged paedophiles around the world.
PURSUED 19 other children, aged between 13 and 19, for sex over apps such as Skype and Telegram.
HAD "eight or nine additional victims" in Australia, Italy and Canada.
ASKED his mother, when she called him in prison and offered to delete his Facebook account, to delete a different online account instead.
WAS considered, by one investigator, to have committed "the worst and most degrading set of offending he has seen in 14 years of investigations".
AMASSED, within just 30 per cent of the 4.5 million images on his electronic devices, 10,000 images of child exploitation - 7000 of which were "not pre-existing" online.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said it was inappropriate to discuss matters still before the courts but said the State Government was addressing serious concerns about the sentencing discount regime for early guilty pleas introduced by the former Labor Government, which "shifted the balance in favour of serious criminals".
"It's worth noting that the current laws allow the courts to provide a discount of up to 40 per cent for the earliest of guilty pleas - however this is not automatic, and I would expect the court to consider all factors when determining the level of discount that would apply in individual matters," she said.
In July, the State Opposition called for sentencing discount laws - which Labor had drafted while in power - to be scrapped, saying they gave leniency to child sex "monsters".
The push followed the 40 per cent discount given to Blair Athol toilet block predator Hamzeh Bahrami, who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl.
The government's bill, which passed two weeks ago, comes into operation on Monday and reduces the maximum discount to 25 per cent.
Any defendant who has entered a plea before that date will still be subject to the old laws, meaning they are entitled to up to 40 per cent off their jail time.
All defendants entering pleas after November 2 will be subject to the rewritten laws.
Brooker is not the first child sex predator to rush his case in order to get the full benefit of the discount.
Last month, online predator Mark Anthony Gray and relief teacher Dylan McCrossin both earned up to 40 per cent off their terms by having their cases called on.
Two weeks later, Gray further admitted secretly filmed 30 of his adult massage therapy clients, earning up to 40 per cent off his punishment for those crimes also.
Mr Maher said the government could have prevented all three offenders from receiving such extreme leniency.
"Since June last year, the government has passed on multiple opportunities to reduce generous sentencing discounts," he said.
"They did nothing - they voted against a Labor Bill, voted to delay their own legislation and then didn't start their new laws as quickly as possible."
Originally published as HIV+ pedo rushes to confess to win sentence cut