Man Accused Of Sexual Assault Of 13-Year-Old Girl Was On Bail
If you ask the NSW Premier, the state has the “strictest and toughest laws in the nation”, yet there’s been another system failure that’s lead to the alleged rape of a child.
John Blair Burns was on bail after being charged with five counts of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in the Riverina, when he allegedly did it again on the Central Coast.
The 28-year-old is accused of raping a 13 year-old on Wednesday at his Glendale home following 12 months of explicit exchanges on the social media app Snapchat.
He was arrested Sunday morning by chance in Cardiff, when he was spotted with two kids in his car, one of them his alleged victim.
That’s when Lake Macquarie police were first informed of the alleged sickening attack.
Burns was charged with rape and unlawfully preying on a child under the age of 16, to which his lawyer did not enter any pleas.
“No application for bail, he was only arrested last night so he’s going to seek more legal advice,” Defence Lawyer Bryce Morrison told reporters outside court.
However, he did admit that he had breached his strict bail conditions.
The Supreme Court set Burns free from jail in October, despite both the police and the department of public prosecutions fighting to keep him behind bars in fear of the public's safety.
He is currently fighting five rape charges which relate to an alleged attack on another child in Griffith.
Those charges saw him twice refused bail in the Local Court, but the Supreme Court over-ruled the decision exactly five weeks ago.
Acting Justice Hidden afforded Burns strict bail wherein he could not leave his Glendale home between 8pm and 8am, could not go within 100-kilometres of Griffith, could only possess one mobile phone and was not to use the internet or social media.
Yet two days later when Burns was due in Griffith Local Court, he was a no-show and nobody apparently bothered to put out a warrant for his arrest.
Responding to this latest bungle, Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters it’s our “absolute priority” to ensure people who are meant to be behind bars “are just there”.
His bail address in Glendale is just 200-metres from the local high school and backs onto a Primary School.
“That’s not right, he should be off, he should be locked up behind jail,” his neighbour and mother-of-three, Emily Reynolds told 10 News First.
Another neighbour, Tammy Davidson said the decision made her feel “sick to the stomach” and that she hopes if he gets bail again “he doesn’t come back here”.