Cairns man Ian Alexander Peachey given jail sentence for grooming, abusing children in state care | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

A Cairns man who targeted vulnerable children in state care has been sentenced to four and a half years’ jail for multiple grooming, sexual assault and drug offences.

Ian Alexander Peachey, 52, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Cairns to 26 charges, relating to offences against eight children, including five who were abused, between 2020 and 2022.

Peachey was caught during Operation Uniform Kalahari, an ongoing Queensland Police investigation into the exploitation of vulnerable children in the Cairns area.

During Tuesday’s sentencing, Supreme Court Justice James Henry described how Peachey would “ingratiate” himself with the teenage victims, who were all under the care of the Department of Child Safety.

The court heard some of the children stayed with or visited Peachey, who supplied all of them with drugs, including cannabis and LSD, before carrying out sexual offences against five of them.

The victims included boys and girls.

“They were not to know better … you, of course, were old enough to know better, but chose to break the law anyway, [for] your own gratification,” Justice Henry said.

“They were [not] only vulnerable because they were children, they were more than ordinarily vulnerable children on account of the fact that they do not have the protective family envelope of responsibility and care that many children do enjoy.”

Eligible for parole in June 2024

In a victim impact statement read out to the court, one of Peachey’s victims said they were “vulnerable because I had been let down by my parents and the child safety system” and that Peachey “saw my vulnerability and capitalised on this”.

“I often feel defenceless against the wrong I have come up against in this world, as if I’ve been stripped of my defences,” the statement said.

“I now struggle with feelings of disgust, worthlessness and a belief at times of being inferior.”

The charges against Peachey included four counts of indecent treatment of a minor under 16 years, three counts of grooming children under 16, one count of sexual assault of a minor over 16 years and 18 counts of supplying drugs to minors.

In a statement to the ABC, the Department of Child Safety said while it could not comment on specific cases, the “safety and wellbeing of children and young people is our highest priority”.

“We treat any allegations of sexual abuse made by a child or young person very seriously,” the statement said.

“Where staff reasonably believe harm to a child or young people may involve a criminal offence, we are required to immediately notify the Queensland Police Service.”

Peachey has been in custody since August 2022 and he will be eligible for parole in June 2024.


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