Victim’s family ‘pleasantly surprised’ at nine-year sentence

FACING COURT: Ty Ranger will be sentenced over the stabbing of a five-year-old girl later this month by Justice Roy Punshon.The family of a five-year-old girl who was stabbed 25 times have expressed their “pleasant surprise” at the nine-year jail sentence handed down to the girl’s disabled attacker.
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Judge Roy Punshonon Mondaymorning sentenced Ty Ranger to a minimum six years and three months behind bars for the stabbing of the young girl with a pocket knife on November 22, 2015.

Judge Punshon said while he gave weight to Ranger’s cerebral palsy, he also took into account the seriousness of the offending.

“The protection of the community remains relevant,” he said.

During sentencing, Judge Punshon told Ranger without any explanation of the motives of the attack, he could not be satisfied the cause of the offending had been addressed.

Ranger, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally causing serious injury and one count of child pornography.

Ranger was jailed for nine years on charge one, with an additional month to be served concurrently for the child pornography possession.

He was also placed on the sex offender register for eight years.

Outside of court in Ballarat, members of the victim’s family told The Courier they were not expecting such a lengthy sentence.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” the girl’s aunt said.

MARCH 7, 2017: A disabled man who stabbed a five-year-old girl 25 times will be sentenced later this month.

However, the County Court sitting in Ballarat on Tuesday heard there was still no explanation for the offending.

Ty Ranger, 24, has pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally causing serious injury and one count of possessing child pornography.

Office of Public Prosecutions prosecutor PatBurke said Ranger, who has cerebral palsy, asked the girl into his unitandrepeatedly stabbed herwith a pocket knife on November 22, 2015, before taking off her t-shirt, touching her chest and trying to remove her shorts.

Mr Burke said the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, bit Ranger on the lip before escaping.

She was taken to Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

“She has recovered from her physical injuries but the scars remain,” Mr Burke said.

On November 25, 2015, police also found two images of females aged between five and 12 on Ranger’s phone in naked or sexually suggestive poses.

When interviewed the next day, Ranger told police the girl had walked into his unit and he had told her to go.

He said she picked up his pocket knife from the coffee table and, while he was trying to get it back, a scuffle ensued, resulting in her stab wounds.

In her victim impact statement, the girl’s auntsaid she would “never forget those initial few days and the devastation of seeing her come back after the operation”.

“I never let her out of my sight. I always fear in the back of my mind that something is going to happen,” the statement read..

“It’s had a massive impact on my life, (the victim’s) life and my partner’s life.”

She said the girl was scared for her personal security, had to make sure windows and doors were locked and had nightmares.

In her statement, the girl’s mother said the incident had “changed my whole life”.

“I feel judged by the community since the incident, feel people are judging my parenting. It’s had an impact on my life and my family’s life forever.”

In her plea, defence counsel Ellen Murphy said it was an opportunistic crime, rather than pre-meditated.

“Mr Ranger accepts responsibility for his offending and he does demonstrate an insight into the impact on the victim and her family,” Ms Murphy said.

“He denies any sexual motivation to the offending or any sexual interest in children.”

However, she said the lack of an explanation was“the most troubling aspect of this plea”

“We may never know why this occurred.”

Ms Murphy said Ranger had a serious issue with alcohol at the time of the incident, drinking an average of 12 stubbies of beer a day.

She said there was also a deterioration in his mental state leading up to the offending, missing multiple days from his Federation University building design course, expressing anxiety and cancelling his carers’ shifts, which caused them to have concerns for his well-being.

Ms Murphy said there were two images of children on his phone, compared to 154 of adult females, and his child pornography offences were at the “lower end of seriousness”.

In a character reference, close friend Tess Pearce described Ranger as “an amazing young guy with a beautiful spirit and awesome humour”.

Daryl Ramsay, who has been dealing with Ranger while he is in custody, also described him as a “friendly and gentle man”.

Ms Murphy said jail had been “more burdensome” for Ranger because of his cerebral palsy, his mental health – having recently been diagnosed with depression –and his isolation due to being in maximum security with other prisoners with intellectual disabilities and only Ms Pearce visiting him due to his family living interstate.

“His disability places him in a vulnerable position in the prison system,” Ms Murphy said.

“His prospects of rehabilitation are positive, there is a lack of prior convictions and he has previously been of good character.

“This is seemingly out of character. There are factors which make it serious, because it is clearly alarming offending, but there are factors which make it less serious in that there has been no lasting physical damage.”

However, Mr Burke said there was “quite clearly” a sexual element to the offending and described it as a “random, vicious assault on a five-year-old girl”.

Judge Roy Punshon said: “at the end of the day, there are no real answers”.

“But this is about as serious offending as you can get with a very significant set of injuries inflicted on a very young child,” Judge Punshon said.

“It is an unusual situation, no doubt about it.”

The Courier, Ballarat

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