FOR the sake of the community, as well as for himself, 38-year-old Daniel Lee Heskith has been placed on a long-term treatment order including that he take drugs to curb his offending behaviour.
Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Detectives arrested Heskith in July 2018 during an investigation into online child exploitation. They were part of a taskforce sparked by information from police based in the United Kingdom.
Heskith was charged with, and has since admitted to speaking with two girls who he believed to be aged 10 and 12, about sexual acts he wished to perform on them.
He was confronted by police at his Mayfield West home about six months later, on January 11, 2019, where police found indecent material on a mobile phone that he'd attempted to send to underage girls.
Numerous psychological reports and assessments were tendered to the Newcastle District Court on Monday where Judge Christopher Hoy was asked to determine if Heskith was unfit for trial. It was the second application on Heskith's behalf to avoid trial on that basis, following orders made previously by Judge Roy Ellis.
While the prosecution and the defence agreed that Heskith was unfit for trial, and experts agreed it was unlikely that would change, it was important that orders be made that protect the community, Judge Hoy said.
He had continued to offend, despite earlier treatment orders. "I want to make orders to make sure that he is never in breach of orders again." he said.
Heskith, who was accompanied in court by a disability support worker and has an intellectual disability as well as epilepsy, would not understand what was being said in court and would need some time outside of the court room to understand, his lawyer said.
The two charges against Heskith carried maximum prison terms of ten years under current legislation, or seven years under the legislation relevant at the time, Judge Hoy said.
He accepted the joint application and released Heskith on the basis that he adhere to a treatment order for two years.
That included trialling anti-libidinal drugs within three months under close supervision, and reporting back to the court if that was, for any reason, unsuccessful or discontinued.
He was ordered to undertake cognitive behaviourial therapy related to his offending, and not to use online social media or chat rooms or contact anyone under the age of 16 either online or in person, and allow police access to any phones or devices upon request.
"Do all those things, stay out of trouble, and do what the doctors say," Judge Hoy said.
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