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Witch jailed for teen sex

By Peter Gregory, chief court reporter 5th March, 1998, The Age

A self-proclaimed witch who sexually abused and degraded two teenage girls and was prepared for them to die rather than give evidence against him was jailed yesterday for 10 years.

Justice David Harper said in the Supreme Court that Robin Angus Fletcher, 42, was a serious sexual offender who put two 15-year-old girls at risk of severe psychological, physical and moral harm.

He fixed an eight-year minimum for Fletcher, who asserted that his bondage and scourging of the girls was related to ancient witchcraft rites.

Justice Harper said Fletcher's behavior, whether dressed up in the clothes of religion or connected with his professed concern for a vulnerable child in his charge, matched the course that best advanced his selfish sexual or financial interests.

Fletcher also tried, while in prison, to organise others to do whatever was necessary, including murder, to stop the girls from giving evidence against him at a committal hearing, Justice Harper said.

He said earlier he would not find Fletcher wanted them both dead, but that he would have proceeded with his plans even if it meant one or both girls died.

He suspended a two-year sentence imposed on Fletcher's former de facto wife, Helen Faye Stone, 43, who gave information to undercover police.

Justice Harper said Fletcher had manipulated Stone, a Chinese herbalist, who was at the time depressed and gullible.. He said he was not persuaded that Stone was aware both girls would be killed, but she was led to believe one girl would receive attention.

Fletcher, formerly of Marara Road, Caulfield South, pleaded guilty to two counts of committing an indecent act with one girl, one count each of committing an indecent act with and sexually penetrating the second girl and a further count of entering an agreement in which she would provide sex for payment.

He also pleaded guilty with Stone, formerly of the same address, to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The prosecution said during pre-sentence submissions that Fletcher, who had counselled one girl, showed her pornography, supplied her with drugs and hit her with a belt, riding crop and paddle while she was naked except for a dog collar, wrist and ankle restraints.

He allegedly told her she was a "chosen one" according to a Celtic prophesy and would be destroyed by gods if she did not obey his demands.

Fletcher was said to have hit the other girl while she wore a collar and restraints, had sex with her, advertised over the Internet her services as a schoolgirl prostitute offering sado-masochistic practices and had her work in an Armadale unit as a prostitute.

Justice Harper said religious freedom and tolerance were important, but they could not be used to cloak the exploitation of children, and religion could not be used as justification to pervert justice.

The Age, 5/3/98

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