Van Ryn complains of jail overcrowding
Ex-Bega Cheese boss Maurice Van Ryn has complained of overcrowding in NSW jails at his sentencing for the repeated sexual abuse of a 15-year-old boy.
The 60-year-old kept his back turned to the public gallery when he appeared at Sydney’s District Court and pleaded guilty to four extra charges relating to the abuse of the teenager.
The charges, which includes two counts of indecent assault and two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse, are in addition to 10 other charges that he has pleaded guilty to.
A further three charges will be taken into consideration when he is sentenced.
In total, Van Ryn has abused nine boys and girls aged eight to 16 over the better part of a decade.
Speaking at his sentencing hearing, his barrister John Heazlewood raised the issue of overcrowding in jails and tendered a Justice NSW report entitled “Full House: The growth of the inmate population in NSW”.
Under these conditions, Mr Heazlewood said his client would benefit from a smaller term in custody and greater time spent on parole.
But crown prosecutor Michael Fox said that was just “general evidence” of over-crowding, and not specific.
Mr Fox submitted Van Ryn’s attacks between January and December 2010 when the boy was 15 increased in severity.
“As he became more familiar with the complainant, you can see the escalation of offending,” Mr Fox said.
He said the offences were also part of a wider history of predatory behaviour on children.
Van Ryn would “ingratiate” himself with a young person to the point where the offending became routine.
Van Ryn has previously told the court there had never been a time in his life when he wasn’t sexually attracted to children and he just wasn’t able to resist the urge.
The hearing continues.