Paedophile Vivian Deboo loses bid to serve sentence in home detention
The victims of paedophile Vivian Deboo and supporters outside court in Adelaide. (ABC News: Rebecca Opie)
A paedophile who preyed on young boys he met through his local church will spend six years and seven months in jail after losing his bid to service his sentence on home detention.
- Vivian Deboo abused two brothers in SA in the 1990s
- He wanted to serve his sentence on home detention in Adelaide
- Judge Simon Stretton sentenced him to six years and seven months’ jail
Vivian Fredrick Deboo, 74, was arrested in December 2016, but waited until the day before his District Court trial to finally plead guilty to multiple counts of indecent assault and gross indecency.
The court heard he was a respected member of a South Australian church when he groomed two young brothers and forced himself onto them at locations in the Adelaide Hills and on the Fleurieu Peninsula in the 1990s.
His victims and a large group of their supporters packed the courtroom for his sentencing, with permission granted for them to fill the seats usually reserved for jurors.
They clapped and cheered as Judge Simon Stretton refused to grant Deboo home detention and imposed a non-parole of five years and three months.
Outside court, one of the brothers — whose identity is suppressed — welcomed the sentence.
“The only sentence that can justifiably condemn these acts is a life sentence, however, in the judicial climate we are in we are very satisfied with Judge Stretton’s remarks and his sentence,” he said.
“We feel it does bring some justice and some closure to the horrendous atrocities that this man has inflicted against his victims.
“My brother and I have suffered immeasurably through this court system because this monster has refused to admit his guilt and he has dragged us to hell and back.
“Today we stand united that justice has finally fallen upon Deboo’s head.”
Protesters call for debate and law change
Deboo’s bid to serve his sentence from the comfort of his Pasadena home spurred the victims to confront him outside court before his bail was revoked last week.
Their supporters chanted “shame on you, Viv Deboo” while armed with signs protesting against home detention.
“There is no justice in child abuse, child abuse is a life sentence, it’s about standing up and showing the community that you can stand up and defend yourself,” one victim said.
“I think we have achieved a small victory today for every child that has ever been abused by a paedophile in Australia or indeed around the world.
“My hope is that we have sparked an even greater local and national debate on this topic.”
The case prompted the State Opposition to introduce a bill to Parliament to ban paedophiles from serving their sentences on home detention, but debate on the bill has been adjourned.
“Tonight one monster goes to jail, however there are more monsters out in our community, and unless we stand up and produce legislative change to increase maximum, stiff custodial sentences for crimes against kids, they will continue,” the victim said.
The court heard Deboo was a serious repeat offender, having been sentenced in 1996 for similar offending against three other young boys.
Judge Stretton said in the cases currently before the court, there were “distinct elements of grooming and planning”.
“In each case, you took advantage of a relationship of trust you had constructed with the family through the church… to abuse for your own prurient purposes two innocent adolescent boys,” Judge Stretton said.
“Your actions have had a devastating effect on both victims and their families.”
Deboo, who is married with five children, showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.