Serial pervert’s sickening act against little girl, mum

A SERIAL pervert with a history of targeting children has again faced court after this time flashing a toddler while inside an Ipswich shop.

A shocked mother was forced to shield her three-year-old child from Graeme Kent, 64, when the Bundamba man stood inside the Reject Shop at Redbank Plains with his pants pulled down.

Ipswich District Court heard the little girl was the sixth child affected by Kent's unsavoury acts.

Appearing from jail via video-link for sentence, Kent pleaded guilty to indecent treatment of a child under 12 at Redbank Plains on December 12, 2019.

Prosecutor Amanda Robinson said he had a similar offence back in December 2012.

Kent had been sentenced by Ipswich District Court in December 2018 for what was his third criminal offence to a jail term of 371 days for two counts of indecent treatment, and attempted indecent treatment of a child. The penalty also included a six-month probation order.

Those offences involved preschool-aged girls in separate incidents at Ipswich and Browns Plains.

He later breached the order after being caught masturbating outside a Bunnings hardware store and received a jail term.

Ms Robinson said three months after his release from jail he was found not to be compliant with his probation order.

Then on December 12 he committed the offence at the Reject Shop.

"He pulled his pants down, about one metre from the child. His penis was semi-erect," she said.

The mother made a complaint and Kent quickly left the store," Ms Robinson said.

The woman later identified the offender from a police photo-board and Kent was arrested on January 12 and has been in custody since.

Ms Robinson said he was a mature-aged recidivist offender and the protection of the community overrides any concerns regarding his rehabilitation.

She said Kent's offending had escalated between October 2016 and December 2019, with four children offended against.

"Young female children need to be protected," she said.

Defence barrister Nicholas Bennett said Kent once led a productive life, operating his own business until a marriage breakdown in 2003 caused him to start drinking excessively.

Kent also had unresolved trauma stemming and other factors from his own childhood.

Mr Bennett said Kent in a letter to the parole board had shown he was now willing to seek assistance, which was a very positive change in his mindset.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC said when police went to arrest Kent after the Reject Shop incident, he was found lying unconscious on the floor and had to be taken to Ipswich Hospital.

Judge Lynch noted Kent committed similar offences in 2012, 2016 and in 2019.

"For the first time you are prepared to face up to the reality of life. That is your own background and your own offending," he said.

Kent was convicted and sentenced to 18 months jail, with 196 days spent in custody declared as being time served.

Judge Lynch gave him immediate eligibility to begin making application for parole.