KASAMA Vol. 16 No. 2 / April-May-June 2002 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network


Raymond Colin Smith, 41, admitted committing indecent acts at Olongapo City with two six-year-old girls on October 5, 1999 while he was working for a charity as a ship's engineer on MV Island Mercy. Smith was tried in Newcastle District Court under the child sex tourism provisions of the Commonwealth Crimes Act. Judge Ralph Coolahan sentenced him to three years jail backdated to May 23. He directed that at the end of a 21-month non-parole period Smith be released on a three-year bond with supervisory conditions. He also sentenced Smith to a concurrent 18 months jail term on each of the other two offences.

Later in Newcastle Local Court, Smith pleaded guilty to having in his possession on September 11 four CD-ROMs that contained about 2,760 images of child pornography which were seized when the police raided Smith's home. Magistrate Alan Railton sentenced him on this charge to a concurrent 18 months jail.

Smith was allowed to work for the charity despite being on parole for similar offences. In May 1977 in the Brisbane District Court, Smith had received an 18-month suspended sentence and was placed on three years' probation for 24 charges of pornography and indecent dealing involving girls as young as four. A psychiatric report submitted to the court at the time found Smith should not have any further contact with children.

David Cowie, director at the time of the Mercy Ships youth ministry, said he made a tortured decision. "Do I leave him here in the Philippines to face the death penalty or do I get him into the legal system? Rightly or wrongly, I sent him home," Mr Cowie told reporters.