A CAREER paedophile who committed the most “perverted and disgusting” crimes in the nation’s history has been jailed for up to 32 years, a judge describing his heinous acts as “much worse” than child sex offender Robert “Dolly” Dunn.
The sentence handed down to David Shane Whitby in the NSW District Court this morning means the 56-year-old will likely die in jail – but Judge Peter Berman said the severity of his criminal behaviour must be reflected in the punishment.
Whitby was convicted of 120 offences against eight victims, spanning 10 years.
His youngest victim was still in nappies when Whitby committed acts of such depravity they can not be published.
Many of the crimes were convicted as Whitby, a former DJ in suburban Sydney, babysat them, in many cases forcing them to consume drugs and alcohol in order to make them more compliant against his obscene requests.
Judge Berman said the images he saw in Whitby’s catalogue of home-made videos of child pornography were the worst he had ever encountered.
“I have never seen one human being mistreat another in such a vile, disgusting and perverted manner as we saw in that video,” he told the court.
While many of those present for the sentencing left in tears during parts of the judgment, Justice Berman noted the importance of the community understanding just what “depths” Whitby had descended during his life – not least of all because of the “enormous harm” he caused his innocent victims.
“There are people like Whitby in the world, so it’s necessary to describe the evil that people do because as Shakespeare reminds us, evil lives after them,” he said.
Judge Berman set Whitby, who remained unmoved, a non-parole period of 26 years, with a head sentence of 32 years.
Another article during the trial describes the pain of both victims and their parents
The 14-month-old girl had an inkling of the imminent sexual attack on her.
She tried desperately to crawl away from the man, but was grabbed by the legs and dragged across the bed so that the vile assault could begin, a Sydney court has been told.
She screamed and struggled in vain as her nappy was ripped off.
The toddler was one of eight victims molested by David Shane Whitby, who in July was found guilty of 120 child sex offences.
He assaulted children over a 10-year period, photographing and filming the acts.
Another of Whitby’s victims rushed crying from Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court during sentencing submissions today, as details of his attack on the toddler were read out by Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi.
During the trial, which was heard without a jury, Judge Peter Berman viewed the videos and photographs made by Whitby.
One of those videos showed the attack of the baby girl.
“The child sees the offender approaching her, she exhibits extreme fear … she obviously had some inkling of what was about to happen. He grabs her by the legs, pulls her towards him and commits the offences,” Mr Tedeschi said in court on Friday.
Whitby sat in the dock of the court, occasionally shaking his head as the details were read.
He claimed during the trial that he was not the offender. The offender was a man he used to know but with whom he no longer had any contact, he said.
In some videos, Whitby wears items including a pink fairy outfit, a black mask, a black body suit, black high heels or a suspender belt and stockings – as do some of his victims.
A sign on the door of the court warned people of the graphic nature of the case.
Details of the assault on the toddler were harrowingly graphic.
“Screams and struggles are heard from the child … that would send chills down the spine of any reasonable person,” Mr Tedeschi said of the video.
“This toddler did all that she could to get away from the offender in a vain attempt to avoid the offending behaviour.
“The offender’s only motivation … is to obtain sexual gratification from his conduct with a very young child.”
Earlier today, another of Whitby’s victims – now an adult mother of three – said that being forced to relive the details during the prosecution case had “ruined her life”.
“I feel like I’m worthless as a mother now because I’m so consumed about what happened to me I can’t look after my kids. I don’t cope with daily life at all,” said the tearful woman, who can’t be identified.
Her brother was raped and assaulted by Whitby – charges involving the boy totalling 91.
Mr Tedeschi said Whitby sexually conditioned his victims and that the assaults would sometimes take place while the children were watching television or talking on the phone.
“The offender committed the acts for his own immediate gratification and also for the purposes of recording the acts for his later sexual titillation,” Mr Tedeschi said.