Child carers with criminal records get the OK from "Anti-discrimination" tribunal

Here's betting that the tribunal members would not expose their own children to such people

A foster carer who assaulted a child, a school hockey coach who hid drugs internally and a man who threw a molotov cocktail into a home have been given blue cards to work or volunteer with children.

They are among seven Queenslanders with criminal convictions who were rejected for blue cards by the Commissioner for Children and Young People, and then won them after appeals to a tribunal this year. Two of the seven people now considered safe to work with children have spent time in jail.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal decided in each of the cases, which were made public last week, that the Commissioner was wrong in finding they were "exceptional cases" for refusal.

Children's Commissioner Elizabeth Fraser said she was reviewing the Tribunal's decisions, and was considering appealing some if there were legal grounds.

In 2009-10, 230,867 blue cards were issued, while more than 650 people were prohibited from holding one.

Thirteen people who were refused blue cards successfully appealed, eight lost their appeals, and 12 others lodged appeals but then withdrew them.

The foster carer was convicted of common assault and put on a six-month good behaviour bond in 2008 for punishing an eight-year-old girl in his care using a rubber thong and a belt, leaving bruises.

School sports coach Laura Thompson, 20, was convicted in 2008 of possessing ecstasy and cocaine, which she had secreted internally to avoid police detection. She was fined $750 almost three months after she was issued with a blue card, which was cancelled last year.

Former Broncos player Fletcher Holmes, 22, was in 2006 convicted of assault occasioning bodily harm in company and put on two years' probation. He also has been on probation until this month for common assault for touching a female under her skirt, and had drink driving and unlicensed driving convictions.

Others who obtained blue cards on appeal were:

Richard John Waldon, 33, who had 15 convictions, including throwing a molotov cocktail into a home, extortion, assault and stealing; and

John Drinkwater, who served three years in jail until 2008 for throwing petrol bombs into an occupied house and making extortion threats.

Two other mothers with lengthy drug use histories and convictions also were issued with blue cards.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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