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Serial sex offender assaulted woman just days after prison release

Serial sex offender: Devaun Cox (Photograph supplied)

A serial sex offender whose release from prison prompted a government warning reoffended just days after he was freed, The Royal Gazette can reveal.

Devaun Cox was released from Westgate on April 27, but six days later sexually assaulted a woman.

Because Cox initially denied the offence, The Royal Gazette was unable to name him or mention his previous convictions, but after his guilty plea in Magistrates’ Court yesterday, we can now do so. The victim cannot be identified for legal reasons.

When he was released, Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, issued a public notification.

It said that he was being released from custody for a sexual assault on a female patient at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.

The offence occurred in January 2021 and in December 2022 he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

The notification added that Cox had previous convictions dating back to 2012 when he was sentenced to six months’ jail for intruding on the privacy of a young girl, and in 2013 he was again convicted for intruding on the privacy of a young girl and jailed for three years.

In 2017 Cox was convicted again for intruding on the privacy of a young girl and jailed for three years. He appealed the conviction and it was upheld in 2018. He has two previous convictions for prowling.

The public notification added: “Pursuant to Section 329H of the Criminal Code 1907, the Minister of Legal Affairs is empowered to disclose information in relation to sex offenders who are considered to present a risk of significant harm to the health or safety of the public, an affected group of people or an individual.

“In accordance with this power, the minister, after consulting with the Commissioner of Police, has determined that the public should be notified of the impending release of the following sex offender: Devaun Cox.”

At the time Debi Ray-Rivers, the executive director of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, a charity dealing with child sexual abuse, said Cox should have been in accommodation where the community would not be placed at risk.

Yesterday Magistrate Craig Attridge adjourned the case to November 16 for sentencing and remanded Cox, of no fixed abode, in custody.

The Royal Gazette contacted Government for comment regarding Cox’s April release, but did not receive a response by press time.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers