No-show so to jail you go

A CONVICTED sex offender from Victoria was stunned this week when an Albury court jailed him for two months for failing to tell authorities he had moved from Albury to Wodonga and then to Melbourne.

Jaden Mitchell Mills, 30, charged with failing to comply with reporting obligations, had pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared in Albury Local Court charge in April.

On Tuesday when he appeared for sentencing, magistrate Tony Murray told him an intensive corrections order and home detention could not be considered.

Mr Murray said it was a serious offence and imposed a two-month jail term.

Mills, stunned by the penalty, said: “What? Jail?”.

As two officers escorted him from court, Mills said: “Are you fair dinkum?”.

Mills is on a register under the Child Protection Act for life, requiring him to report to police every 12 months. He was convicted in 2007 for sexual assault with violence.

Mills lived in Albury for some time and reported to police there in November 2012. He failed to report last year.

Authorities tracked him to the Melbourne suburb of Croydon after discovering he had lived in Tourmaline Drive, Wodonga, for some time without notifying them.

Yesterday, he also appeared in Albury before another magistrate, Megan Greenwood, seeking appeal bail.

Police prosecutor Sgt Shannon Lewis said Mills had left NSW and it was three months before police had found him.

“In my submission, he does face a custodial penalty of sorts,” Sgt Lewis said.

She said a surety and reporting conditions could negate the risk of Mills failing to attend and it could protect the public.

Ms Greenwood said there were two unacceptable risks, one being would Mills attend court for his appeal and the other he could be a danger to the community.

“I am concerned about the risk to the community,” she said.

“This is not a simple non-compliance.

“The police had to go to some lengths to find him.”

Mills was released on $5000 bail if he reported to Croydon police three times a week.

The court was told in tendered facts that Mills had reported to police in Albury on November 29, 2012, for his annual compliance.

At the time, he was living in Pemberton Street, had work at a retail store and provided police with a phone number and two mobile numbers.

But Mills failed to report last November and did not advise police of any change in his circumstances.

A check revealed his residence was vacant and two of the nominated phone numbers had been disconnected.

Calls to the other number remained unanswered.

Police finally spoke to him by phone on February 26 and Mills told them he was living at Croydon.