Child safety advocates have criticised an eight-year prison sentence for a pedophile who abducted a seven-year-old girl from a Queensland shopping centre and molested her.
Bruce Morcombe, father of murdered Sunshine Coast boy Daniel Morcombe, has called for a national sex offender website following the Friday sentencing of Sterling Mervyn Free, who assaulted the girl in December 2018.
Free, a 27-year-old father of two, lured the girl from a Kmart store at Westfield North Lakes, north of Brisbane.
He took her to bushland about 30 minutes away, sexually assaulted her and returned her to the centre more than an hour later.
In the Brisbane District Court, Free was sentenced to eight years in jail with a parole eligibility date in August 2021. The 306 days Free had spent in custody counted as time already served.
Outside court, Mr Morcombe said the sentence was "skinny".
"I would suggest it's well below the public's standard of setting a sufficient deterrent for other creeps that are out there," Mr Morcombe told media.
He called for a national sex offender website because if Free is paroled in 2021 "this person may well be around the corner from your local school, preschool or your home".
"It's not a matter of vigilante behaviour when he's out but it's a question of educating our kids," Mr Morcombe said.
"I think the nature of that discussion ... I think it's important because it makes it real."
Australian Associated Press