Sex offender’s photograph released
This is the face of convicted paedophile John Malcolm “Chalkie” White, who walked free from prison last month.
Michael Dunkley pledged on Thursday that a photograph would be released to the public of the sex predator during a live question and answer session with The Royal Gazette, when he was asked a wide range of questions from readers arising from this year's Throne Speech.
The Premier's spokeswoman subsequently sent the image above to this newspaper at 4.20pm.
White, a former policeman, was released from prison on October 31 after serving 12 years for crimes involving three young boys, including sexual assault, buggery, attempted buggery and sexual exploitation in Smith's and St George's between 1996 and 2001.
Police and the Department of Court Services have to be notified when a sex offender leaves jail. It is understood that one of the requirements of White's release was that he report to police at least every other day.
Attorney-General Trevor Moniz's decision not to notify the public that he was free sparked criticism this week from MPs Mark Pettingill and Zane DeSilva, but Mr Moniz said he had been unable to because of the lack of a written protocol on how to do so.
Mr Dunkley told this newspaper the Attorney-General was working on the issue last weekend with Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security, who had made him aware of White's release.
“The man in question had the documentation to fill out and he had reported to the police and so they had a close monitoring of what he was doing,” Mr Dunkley said. “The Attorney-General was deciding on a course of action because he believed he had a good assessment of any threat to the community and he was moving forward on it.
“On Monday morning, a media outlet wrote the story with a name and so that probably jumped ahead of the circumstances.”
He added: “The AG decided that over the weekend he didn't need to make the notification because he's talked to the police; there will be those in the community who will disagree with that.
“At that point in time, he decided it wasn't necessary to do it right over the weekend. I wouldn't say it wasn't an important matter, but it wasn't necessary to do it over the weekend.”
Mr Dunkley is acting Minister of National Security, as Mr Baron is off island. In that capacity, the Premier said he had asked the police and the Commissioner of Corrections to provide a photograph for release to the public.
White was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2004 but the term was later reduced to 18 years by the Court of Appeal. He was able to be released after serving two thirds of his sentence, without undergoing any rehabilitation during his time behind bars.
An aggravating factor in White's crimes was that he used his position of trust as a police officer and in other community roles over a sustained period of time to “groom” his victims.
Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lamb, the Commissioner of Corrections, said this week that the nature of White's case “precluded, to a large degree, Corrections making him attend sex offender classes”.
He added: “Having him attend group classes would have been extremely volatile and dangerous, given his offence and his previous occupation.”
This year's Throne Speech promises that the Department of Corrections will conduct an “extensive review of all programmes to ensure inmates are best served while incarcerated”.
Mr Dunkley admitted: “There are programmes that are not being used because they are not mandated to be used and we need to get serious about it. One of the things that I have found out as a legislator is that we have to allow the judicial branch to have their authority and the latitude to do what they have to do.
“The time has come where we should allow them the ability to mandate X, Y, Z and go forward to track it.”
The Premier said the community needed to be more proactive in regards to paedophiles, rather than simply reacting when one was released from prison.
“We have to make sure that we get a better understanding of what's driving these individuals to make sure that they are protected and that the public are protected when they come out,” he said.
He urged the joint parliamentary select committee tasked in November 2014 with investigating how better to protect children against sex offenders to deliver its report, adding that legislative amendments were likely to follow.