School in win over sex felon

A CONVICTED sex offender agreed in Albury Court yesterday with conditions of an apprehended violence order being sought by the St Patrick’s Catholic School principal.

Robert Caldwell accepted a five-year order effectively preventing him from going near the school where he was previously caught loitering and was subsequently prosecuted by police.

Magistrate Tony Murray was told in the circumstances of complaint that Caldwell, 66, was convicted in Albury Court in 2003 on a charge of indecent assault on a victim aged under 10 and received a 10-month jail term.

He is at present being managed under the NSW Police child protection register system.

Caldwell, of North Albury, was convicted in August last year of being a convicted child sex offender loitering near the St Patrick’s school in Smollett St.

He was seen by a witness about 4.30pm last Tuesday walking slowly in an easterly direction on the footpath outside the infants area of the school.

Another witness saw him sitting on steps leading into the school hall when there were about 33 children in the after-school area located within the grounds about 50m from him.

There is a childcare centre within the school grounds; at the time it was occupied by about 30 children aged between eight months and six years.

Police were told Caldwell had been frequenting the presbytery to receive assistance and counsel from parish priest Msgr William Fulton.

The presbytery building is located within the parish school grounds and has a direct line of sight to classrooms and the children’s play area.

Both the police and the school have made requests for Caldwell to seek assistance or counselling elsewhere.

Mr Murray was told it was sought for Msgr Fulton to make arrangements for it to happen away from the school area.

Caldwell and Msgr Fulton have phone contact with each other.

Police are aware of other Catholic churches in the Albury area close to Caldwell’s residence which are not attached to schools.