A PREDATORY child sex offender who once tried to bury a Warrnambool girl alive was yesterday described as “one of the very worst’’, by a retired policeman.
Colin George McKane was sentenced earlier this week in Victoria’s Supreme Court to nine months’ jail for tracking down minors for sex after seeing their photographs in a newspaper.
At the time he was the subject of a supervision order imposed after he finished a sentence for kidnapping and molesting a 10-year-old girl.
The court heard that in 1984, McKane bashed a 16-year-old Warrnambool girl with a wheel brace as she was walking home.
He put her in his car, dragged her to a beach, assaulted her then dumped her in a hole, covering her with bracken and debris.
Fred Hughson, a former senior detective in Warrnambool at the time, said the girl pretended to be dead and McKane left the scene.
She then ran naked for more than a kilometre to get help.
When police were later examining the scene McKane returned with a shovel, which they believed he was going to use to bury her. “He was certainly one of the worst offenders I saw in my time,” Mr Hughson said yesterday.
“One of the very worst. He was always considered a dangerous offender.
“I knew the family involved at the time. It was a very tragic case for them. It was horrific.”
At his 1998 trial for the abduction and molestation of the 10-year-old girl, the Office of Public Prosecutions asked Judge Leo Hart to declare McKane a dangerous offender, so he could be sentenced to prison indefinitely.
Judge Hart refused and sentenced McKane to nine years in prison.
At that trial, it emerged that McKane had a long and brutal history of sexual abuse of children, a record police described as one of the worst they had ever seen.
McKane had previously been jailed, in 1995, for phoning children whose pictures he had seen in the paper.
In a confidential report in 1992, McKane was described as “a real threat to females and children. He is a definite sexual deviant and while serving his last prison sentence for rape, declined ... medical assistance and counselling”.
In 1977, a psychiatrist wrote of McKane: “I think he needs to be hospitalised for further assessment in his own interest and also in the public interest.”
The parole board found he was “a long-term recidivist sexual offender, progressing from indecent exposure to indecent assault”.
“Offences had involved knives, scissors and once an unloaded rifle ... also notable has been his lack of impulse control, no sense of responsibility, or right and wrong and no remorse.”
The Age crime reporter John Silvester wrote after the 1998 trial that McKane was every parent’s worst nightmare.
“He has attempted to bury a girl alive, abducted girls from the street and made hundreds of obscene calls that left children terrified,” he wrote.
“He refused prison sex-therapy programs, flouted parole conditions and re-offended every time he was released from prison.”
With The Age