Jehovah’s Witnesses sink to new “low” in protecting pedophiles in Australia. Note the comments from a local brother regarding Shane Thomas Thorne an accused Kiddie Porn Collector in the same congregation as Souter, a recently convicted pedophile that molested numerous children. It appears both remain Jehovah’s Witnesses in good standing during their court trials.
Some of the parents of abused children were outraged about the way this was handled. They still attend meetings. So I am writing anonymously.
Basically to highlight how the congregation is kept in the dark, also, this ‘all too forgiving attitude’ that prevails amongst those in the congregation toward persons who are involved in the abuse of children.
They would probably be less forgiving of me if I went to a birthday party than if I was a child abuser.
Thorne was a regular pioneer in Corrimal congregation. The same congregation that Robert Souter was in when he abused a number of boys. You have a copy of a judges scathing remarks re that case on your website. Early this year Thorne was reproved and removed as a pioneer. No one knew why. A number of weeks later the newspaper article below appeared in the local paper.
Some in the congregation were disappointed the elders had not taken sterner action or given a talk warning of the dangers of child porn etc. Thorne continued to come to meetings larger than life talking to different ones getting hugs, sitting at the front of the hall with his pioneer wife. He would also bring his bible study with him.
Comments were coming back to the concerned ones from friends of Thorne that it was a media beat up. And lies were told in the newspaper report.
Some of the other comments circulating were;
‘The wife was present when he accidentally came across an image. ‘
‘He was drunk and accidentally clicked on the wrong link.’
‘The police sent a letter apologizing for making a mistake and charges would be dropped.’
One of the elders visited some elderly sisters who had been vocal about how disgusting this was and he told them that child porn need not involve images of naked children, they may have been clothed and there are varying degrees of child porn.
Anyway several members of the congregation decided to attend Thorne's court case as they wanted to know the truth and did not want things hushed up. The case was adjourned a number of times.
They were surprised to note that one of the elders attended each of these hearings.
About a month ago and some time after the last hearing had been adjourned it was announced that Thorne was no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses. There was no indication as to why.
Articles about Thorne,
Man jailed over extensive child porn collection
BY PAUL MCINERNEY
18/11/2008 4:00:00 AM
A Corrimal man who had more than 1000 images of child pornography in his possession had shown a callous disregard for the children involved, Magistrate Paul Johnson said yesterday.
Mr Johnson said many of the images in the possession of 35-year-old Shane Thomas Thorne were of the worst category involving children as young as five.
Thorne was sentenced to a total of two years' jail on two charges. He is due to be released on November 16, 2010 and will then enter a 12-month good behaviour bond.
"He had these images for his personal gratification," the magistrate said.
"Despite being the father of two young teenage girls he showed a callous disregard for gross sexual abuse of children in the images."
Thorne, of Carroll Rd, pleaded guilty to one charge of using the internet to access child pornography and one of possessing 1146 images of child pornography between August 27 and September 24 last year.
He was addicted to adult pornography and had tens of thousands of legal images in his computer when federal police raided his home on January 7.
The court heard Thorne accessed the pornography late at night in his garage and over time became inured to this and sought more titillating material in the form of child pornography.
The website from which he bought the illegal images provided a warning that it "contained material which may be offensive to some, exciting to others and illegal to all."
Mr Johnson said Thorne clearly thought the website was safe and that he would not be detected.
Evidence was heard that Thorne grew up in a violent family environment and was sexually abused as a teenager.
Mr Johnson said courts throughout the world had recognised for a long time that child pornography was not a victimless crime.
"There is nothing to indicate that he has acknowledged the injury caused by his actions," Mr Johnson said. "There is no realisation expressed or reported of any acknowledgement of the harm done to children in child pornography."
He told Thorne that a sentence must be imposed that would reflect the community horror and the disgust for the use of children for sexual gratification.
Late yesterday, Thorne's barrister Jane Healey said an appeal against the severity of the sentence would lodged.
Child porn images 'utterly disgusting'
BY PAUL MCINERNEY
13/11/2008 4:00:00 AM
A defence lawyer yesterday conceded that images of child pornography found in the possession of a Corrimal man were "hardcore and utterly disgusting".
During sentencing submissions in Wollongong Local Court on behalf of Shane Thomas Thorne, barrister Jane Healy said the community quite rightly took umbrage at offences of child pornography.
Thorne, 34, of Carroll Rd, has pleaded guilty to one charge of using the internet to access child pornography and one charge of possessing child pornography between August 27 and September 24 last year.
The court heard Thorne had a long-term addiction to adult pornography and had tens of thousands of legal images in his possession when federal police raided his home on January 7.
During a search of the premises the officers seized a computer and computer discs, which were later found to contain images of child pornography.
"It was during the course of this addiction that he sought material that was more titillating, more on the edge," Ms Healy told the court.
She said Thorne had made no attempt to disguise his identity when he used his own credit card details to pay for more than 1000 images from an overseas website.
The court heard there was no suggestion Thorne had engaged in trafficking of child pornography, or that he was a paedophile.
Magistrate Paul Johnson will sentence Thorne on November 17.
For further information about Souter click here,
A member of the Jehovah's Witness church who molested three male church members after "ingratiating himself" into their families has been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail.
Robert Leslie Souter pleaded guilty to eight charges of sexual assault of the boys, who were aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the abuse, following prolonged negotiations with prosecutors.
Two of the victims were brothers whose parents had met Souter when the family first become involved with the church in 1970.
The elder brother, 14, known as CT, was first abused when he did a week of work experience with Souter, a qualified carpenter.
As CT climbed a ladder Souter followed him up, slipping his hand up the boy's shorts and rubbing his penis before climbing down and ejaculating himself.
Later when CT helped him at a carpentry job, Souter rubbed himself against the boy simulating sex and told him to think about the woman who owned the house. He then masturbated CT after telling him to put on the woman's stockings.
CT's younger brother, NT was about 10 years old when he first met Souter who would visit their home for dinner and family barbecues and go to the beach with them.
Four years later, while NT helped Souter to build a new church hall, Souter asked him, "Do you want me to show you how to become a man?" before making the boy perform sex acts.
Later, while taking the boy on a bike ride Souter said to the boy: "Let's go to the sand hills. I can show you how to make babies." He held his hand to the boy's mouth while having anal sex with him.
NT told health workers about the abuse after he experienced an anxiety attack while on a church convention in Alice Springs.
Souter was expelled from the congregation before being readmitted after he apologised to church elders.
Souter abused the third boy, who worked for him, several times including while the boy slept as they drove home from a job.
Souter sat with his head down throughout the sentencing while his three victims, now adults, and their family and friends sat in the back of the court.
He is serving a prison sentence for the sexual assault of another brother of CT and NT, the court heard.
Judge David Freeman said the facts of this case were "distressingly similar to the case for which he is already serving time".
"That he has debauched all three sons of the one family has done extreme damage," Judge Freeman said. "The guilt of the parents for allowing a fellow member of their church to defile their sons is palpable."
Souter will serve a maximum of 10 years and six months in prison with a non-parole period of seven years and nine months.
He will be eligible for parole in 2015.
Outside court the victims said they were relieved by the sentence and that they could now begin to move on with their lives.