Damen Stephens has finally been sent to prison after being found guilty of child exploitation material, stalking and stabbing offences. Why did it take so many charges to put him away ?
Oh yeah he also bit his mum on the thumb so badly it literally mutilated it and then came back and set her house on fire.
Damen’s offences began all the way back in 2012 when he stalked a fellow psychology course alum in his Melbourne university course. Imagine if the system had come down as hard as they should have back then, all these crimes could have been prevented.
He approached the woman and addressed her by name, even though she had never met him before. It would later be revealed he first saw the victim on a tram in Chapel Street a year earlier. By July 2014 the victim’s repeated request to stop him messaging her over social media had failed and the court granted the victim a personal safety order.
But this only made Stephens’ messages aggressive, and they now totalled several thousands words.
“Just a red rag to a bull,” he wrote.
“You’re worth me spending the rest of my life in prison for.
“You shall become the hunted.”
Eventually our system took it seriously and police raided his house, when they did they found 519 images and 27 videos of child exploitation material. Sadly he was not sent to prison for these charges as we all know what our legal system thinks of child exploitation material charges.
After the raid the stalking messages ceased until August 2016 when Stephens’ messaged the victim saying: “I’m more on edge than I have ever been” and “my entire life is dedicated to destroying yours”. He also referred to her home address and her mother. He was soon arrested and charged but in May 2017 was released on bail. During this trial his defence team tried to have his child exploitation material charges suppressed as they thought it would have him targeted during the prison sentence. This request was thankfully rejected.
Once again Damen stopped stalking his victim, for a while…. Five months later the messages became even more aggressive with Stephens’ saying his life was dedicated to slicing her face off and “my life for yours”. So everytime they let him out he stops for a while then eventually starts up again. DOES THIS NOT TELL YOU TO SIMPLY KEEP HIM BEHIND BARS ?
On October 6, Stephens was living with his mother as part of his bail conditions when he began assaulting her after a fight about her pet dogs, biting her thumb so hard it was partially severed before he left the house. Hours later he returned.
This time setting the house on fire, causing $420,000 damage, while filming the act and sending it to his stalking victim. Imagine her fear when she viewed the video of this maniac burning down his mother’s home… but yes let him out of prison one more time… that was a great idea.
The court heard that on the following night, October 7, Stephens’ was seated at a table outside St Kilda Cellars in Fitzroy Street when he called the men sitting nearby “f—wits” and lunged at them with a 30-centimetre knife in front of other members of the public.
Two men were stabbed in the arm and one in the stomach, back and torso as well. One of the victims underwent surgery to remove part of his tricep muscle and needed 22 stitches. The entire attack was caught on CCTV.
Stephens’ was arrested two days later and charged with stalking, committing an indictable offence while on bail, possession of child pornography, arson, failure to answer bail, contravention of a personal safety order and intentionally cause injury.
He sat silently throughout his sentencing and looked only at the judge. Since his most recent arrest he has shaved his head and grown a long, white beard. Ms Hannan sentenced Stephens, who pleaded guilty, to 11 years and one month in jail with a non-parole period of eight years. He must also pay a $1600 fine and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for eight years.
So finally a decent sentence, one that might actually make him think twice about offending against his stalking victim again (we say might but we doubt it very highly) however we can’t help but wonder, what if the initial judge would have just done this in the first place ?
Shouldn’r the judges and parole boards who let Stephens out of prison be charged with accessory to the stabbing crime ? Considering if not for their actions the crime would never have occurred in the first place ? …. Ahhh if only hey
Isn’t it time our legal system took stalking and child exploitation material charges as seriously as they did the assault charges ?
Why don’t they take these charges seriously ? is it because the stalking and child exploitation material possession happened in secret and not publicly ? The stabbing offences were very public as was the system’s reaction.
Ok so let’s make child exploitation material and stalking charges made very public ! Let’s make it well known when someone has been convicted of these offences, so we can get a good sentence finally !
Yeah we doubt it will happen too… Should happen but then again a parole board who release a psychopath against advice should be charged with accessory charges to any crimes they subsequently commit.
If our system had taken child exploitation and stalking charges seriously Stephens mother’s home would still be standing and no one would have been stabbed. When is our legal system going to recognise the seriousness of pre-cursor offences ?
#FACAA #ProudFACAA #VIC #VICPOL #VICPolice #ChildExploitationMaterial #NotChildPorn #PornImpliesConsent #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless #ChildrensChampions #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness #ChangingLives #HealingSurvivors #ChangingLaws #Legal #Law #LegalReform #JuliasJustice #PhoenixProgram #WeWillFight #StandUp #FromHellWeRise #TakeChildExploitationMaterialChargesSeriously #CouldHaveAllBeenAvoided