Illawarra sex offender to fight allegations he failed to report multiple address changes

A West Australian child sex offender will fight accusations he failed to report multiple changes of address to police, allowing him to live undetected in Wollongong for a year.

Court documents said Simon Aaron Wilhelm relocated from Western Australia to Tweed Heads in August 2016 just months after serving five years in prison for possession of child pornography.

He was placed on the NSW Child Protection Register upon his arrival in the state, however allegedly failed to report his change of address, as required under NSW law, when he moved to Unanderra to live with his father in October the same year.

The register, designed to monitor the movements and personal information of people convicted of a serious violent or sexual offence against a child, largely relies on offenders self-reporting any change in personal circumstances.

These can include their working situations, living arrangements, access to technology and interaction with children.

It is alleged Wilhelm’s failure to update his contact details at the time of his move allowed him to live in the Illawarra free from scrutiny and monitoring by local police.

His presence in the region only came to the attention of authorities when he was accused of assaulting his father in October 2017.

He was subsequently charged with three counts of failing to comply with reporting obligations.

During his 12 months under the radar, Wilhelm allegedly lived at multiple different addresses, some of which are located just a few hundred metres from businesses frequented by children.​

In documents tendered in court proceedings, police claimed Wilhelm was a repeat offender for ignoring his legal obligations.

“He clearly has a disregard for authority and lawful orders made by the court of Australia,” police said, noting Wilhelm had convictions for breach of bail in WA.

Wilhelm has not been charged with committing any offences against children and the Mercury does not suggest he has.

Wilhelm’s matter was mentioned in Wollongong Local Court on Friday where his not guilty pleas were confirmed.

The magistrate set the matter down for hearing in October. Wilhelm remains behind bars.