KASAMA Vol. 15 No. 4 / October-November-December 2001 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

A man's work for a Philippines charitable organisation was abruptly halted when he allegedly confessed to sexual offences against two six-year-old girls.

Australian Federal Police agents in Newcastle charged Raymond Colin Smith, 40, with offences under the Australian Child Sex Tourism Act. He is alleged to have had intercourse with one of the children and committed other indecent acts against her and another girl.

Federal Police say the offences occurred on October 5 last year at Olongapo City while Smith was a chief engineer on MV Island Mercy. He was given 24 hours to leave the ship and the country. He is also accused of being in possession of child pornography.

Sgt Mark Maguire said Mr Smith first went to the Philippines in March 1999, to work on MV Island Mercy, a vessel operated by an international Christian aid organisation providing free medical services.

Appearing in the Newcastle Magistrates Court on November 20, Mr Smith did not enter any pleas and was committed for trial. Smith was granted bail on condition he surrender his passport. His case is scheduled in the Newcastle District Court on February 14, 2002.

Source: with reports from The Newcastle Herald, 25/10 & 21/11/2001.