ironical turn of events Dennis Ferguson, the Australian paedophile acquitted
under some controversial circumstances recently, is under heavy police
security. And those guarding him fear mob violence.
Botting had set him free saying the 60-year-old convicted sex offender would not get a fair trial
on new child sex charges in view of the frenzy his case had evoked.
Ferguson is now
being cared for by a church group on a property southeast of Brisbane at a cost to taxpayers of $1000 a
day and supervised by police around the clock.
About 1000 people
at a public forum in Carbrook, south of Brisbane,
Sunday night protested Ferguson's presence in their midst.
Minister Judy Spence and Acting Police Commissioner Kathy Rynders were shouted
down by the crowd at the meeting.
prosecutor, senior constable Heather Steinberg, received a standing ovation
after she said her job was at risk but she had to protest against convicted
pedophile Dennis Ferguson's presence for the sake of her two daughters aged two
``Why is the
commissioner making me protect him and not my children,'' she wanted to know.
said she was able to see the house where Ferguson
``Our freedom has
gone. You have imprisoned us in our own home. My children are frightened,'' she
Howls of derision
met Spence's attempts to explain that Ferguson
was technically a free man.
like it or not Dennis Ferguson has been allowed to be a free man by the
courts,'' she said, but not many would seem to buy it.
well-known child rights activist Hetty Johnston was heckled when she
pointed out that paedophiles were there in every community. There were also
calls for the removal of judge Hugh Botting.
his release, Ferguson had sought to stay in his own home, but was forced out by his
In and out of
jail for a few years now, he
is hounded out whenever he tries to settle down somewhere. People argue, "Our
children are not safe when he is on the prowl."
Such is the mob
hysteria, the police are having a tough time of it guarding him, and guarding
Union of Employees (QPSU) president Cameron Pope said officers guarding Ferguson were bearing the
brunt of public anger against the convicted child molester. Pope said police had to ensure that everyone
obeyed the law.
includes Dennis Ferguson and that includes those who would want to start a
lynch mob at the entrance to the premises where he is being housed," Pope
is that police are being drawn into the middle of this and there is the
possible escalation of violence which is not acceptable in this situation, or
in any situation," Pope said.
has a right to voice their opinions but we would just ask for calmness in doing
Earlier in the week,
a man from Munruben, south of Brisbane, was
charged for threatening Ferguson
over telephone and another has been seen outside the Carbrook house waving a