Seriously ill man ordered to face court

A GRAVELY ill Beechworth man facing sex offence allegations involving a minor must front court at the end of the month after lengthy delays to the case. 

Kenneth Geoffrey Parkinson, 67, has been charged with committing an indecent act with a child under 16.

The offence is alleged to have taken place on December 29, 2015.

A high-school aged girl is the alleged victim in the matter.

The case has been listed before the Wodonga Magistrates Court on many occasions and has been delayed each time due to problems with Parkinson’s health. 

The court heard in February that Parkinson had problems being transported to the courthouse. 

He relies on oxygen, is said to be bedridden, and in need of frequent medical treatment. 

Lawyer Mario Vaccaro had asked during the February hearing for a permanent stay on the matter given Parkinson is likely terminally ill. 

He said a doctor had recommended the 67-year-old not travel for the court hearings. 

The request had been knocked back given the serious nature of the allegations.

Prosecutor Wayne Taylor told the court the charges meant the case fell “well short” of what’s required for a “rare and exceptional” permanent stay. 

“It’s of public interest for them to proceed,” he said. 

Magistrate Ian Watkins had asked Mr Vaccaro if he was able to organise patient transport to the court so the 67-year-old could make an appearance.

Repeated attempts by Mr Vaccaro to get the man to the courthouse have failed.

During another hearing in the Wodonga court on Tuesday, Mr Vaccaro said he had been unable to make contact with Parkinson.

Police prosecutor Penny Lawler said she had no choice but to seek an arrest warrant given the repeated delays.

“I’m out of options,” she said.

Magistrate Ian Watkins approved her request.

Police executed the warrant at Parkinson’s home on Wednesday on a charge of failing to appear on summons. 

He was bailed on the charge to appear before the court on May 30.