dailylists.magistratesvic.com.au/search-court-lists/search-results.aspx?id=58363078&type=Criminal discloses the following pending court case: LATROBE VALLEY MAGISTRATES' Case Number:D12645169 Case Date:02 Oct 2013. 11:00 AM Prosecuting Agency:Victoria Police Informant:Eldridge, D Accused:Chandler, Chris Allan Accused Representative firm name:Not Represented Hearing Type:Filing Hearing Prosecutor Representative Name:Not Represented Plea: Location:Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court Room:2
This thread will be locked so there is no conjecture or discussion of pending court cases in order to not prejudice the court action. The hearing is only a preliminary hearing so it may be many months before there is any outcome from this process.
This thread was unlocked 22 March 2014 since the court has recorded a guilty plea.
Last Edit: Mar 21, 2014 15:57:44 GMT -5 by Admin10: This thread was unlocked 22 March 2014 since the court has recorded a guilty plea.
A message from a reader: Hi Admin10, Thank you for update on the court hearing. Recently we had a visit with the workers of this area and there were many things that the senior worker said that has deeply concerned us, so much so, that we are not sure we could ever tolerate such a visit again. It seems that they take no responsibility for anything. When something is wrong or goes wrong they blame anyone but themselves. When the abuse subject was discussed the senior worker made it very clear that they felt it was the parents responsibility. This completely sickens us as we have always made them welcome in our home and they have taken the opportunity to stay for as long as they wanted, and the ones in question of this abuse are the ones we opened our home to, yet it seems they are holding the parents responsible for the workers abuse. We think there would be very few friends that would open their home to the workers if they knew that if something was to happen the workers would somehow hold them responsible. We feel we should be able to trust them when they stay in our home,and we should not have to watch over our children 24/7 just because they can't be trusted.
The case is now listed for another Committal Mention on 9 Jan 2014. I wonder what happened to the one yesterday?
Case Number: D12645169 Case Date: 09 Jan 2014. 09:30 AM Prosecuting Agency: Victoria Police Informant: Eldridge, D Accused: Chandler, Chris Allan Accused Representative firm name: Not Represented Hearing Type: Committal Mention Prosecutor Representative Name: Not Represented Plea: Location: Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court Room: 0
The case was deferred until 20 Feb as the Police Prosecutor was not available.
Case Number: D12645169 Case Date: 20 Feb 2014. 09:30 AM Prosecuting Agency: Victoria Police Informant: Eldridge, D Accused: Chandler, Chris Allan Accused Representative firm name: Not Represented Hearing Type: Committal Mention Prosecutor Representative Name: Not Represented Plea: Location: Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court Room: 0
Former sect leader pleads guilty to child sex charges Chris Johnston - Senior Writer for The Age Published: March 20, 2014 - 9:22PM A former leader of a secretive Victorian sect has pleaded guilty to child sex charges in a Gippsland court.
Chris Chandler, 56, of French Island, a former senior member of the shadowy Bible sect known as Friends and Workers or the Two by Twos, pleaded guilty in the LaTrobe Valley Magistrate's Court on Thursday to nine charges including unlawful indecent assaults, indecent assaults and gross indecency on three young female victims.
Several charges were dropped during the committal mention hearing on Thursday but Chandler faces court again in May after entering his guilty plea. The charges date back to the 1970s when Chandler was aged in his 20s. Some victims were under 12. Chandler was not a member of the sect then but joined only three years later.
A Fairfax Media investigation last year established senior members of the sect knew of the allegations yet promoted him, in 1991, to the senior position of "worker", or minister - meaning he was travelling throughout Victoria and Tasmania and staying in family homes as a "missionary". From 1991 until 2004 Chandler was in Wodonga, Shepparton, Launceston and rural Tasmania. He later positioned himself within the sect as a counsellor and contact for victims of child sexual abuse.
Chandler, a self-employed ecologist who recently returned from several years in Uruguay and Brazil, resigned from the sect in 2012. Yet he went to an overnight sect convention where children were present at Speed, near Mildura, and last year went to sect meetings at Crib Point near Hastings.
A submission to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious groups - by an organisation called Wings, an online group of former Friends and Workers sect members - said the sect is "haphazard" in dealing with sexual abuse allegations and "the main focus has been on protecting the reputation of the Workers and not on helping victims".
The sect has 2000 Victorian members and an estimated 200,000 worldwide. It is an offshoot of the Cooneyites. The Irish founder of the Cooneyites was the Protestant evangelist Edward Cooney, who moved to Mildura and died there in 1960 - hence Victoria's strong membership.
Matthew 10 in The Bible sets out much of what the sect believes. In it, Jesus sends out his disciples to cleanse the world of "impure spirits".
The sect was linked to the suicides of Narelle and Stephen Henderson, aged 14 and 12, of Pheasant Creek near Kinglake, in 1994. It holds five conventions a year at Speed, Colac, Drouin and at Thoona near Benalla.
They have no churches or headquarters and no written policies or doctrines. Short hair is forbidden on sect women. Long hair is forbidden on men. Television, radio, movies, dancing and jewellery are usually banned in sect homes.
The Victorian and Tasmanian leader of Friends and Workers, David Leitch, is known to be close to Chandler. In 2012, Chandler and Leitch wrote a letter to all Victorian sect members announcing Chandler would step down "from the Work" because police in Gippsland had begun questioning him about the allegations that have now led to Chandler's sex charges.
In 2011 another senior Victorian "worker", Ernest Barry, was convicted in a Gippsland court on five indecent assault charges over four years on a girl, a sect member, in the 1970s.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to jail, but was given a suspended sentence on appeal.
Police say they knew of another 12 alleged victims, but could not lay further charges against Barry, who now lives in Warrnambool, because the additional alleged victims would not come forward or press charges.
When Chandler was a "worker" in Wodonga in 1995, the co-"worker" with him in family homes was Ernest Barry.
Then last year - this time in South Australia - the issue of child sexual abuse emerged in the secret sect again. A South Australian "worker", who has now moved to Victoria, alleged to Leitch that another fellow "worker" had been allegedly sexually abusing children.
Leitch sacked the worker who raised the allegations because he says the allegations were not true and he knew they were not true because he investigated them himself.
Post by goandsinnomore on Jun 26, 2014 7:10:17 GMT -5
In regards to Chris Chandler's Court appearance today the results were he was given a 3 months immediate sentence. He will be put on the Sex Offender's Register for the rest of his life (which adds restriction to his movements) and 30 days after his release he has to supply a DNA sample. Any attacks on children in the area he is residing will mean he will be a possible offender. I hope this sentence will convince those that are fighting for justice that it is all worth while even though the victory be small. And that it will hopefully wake up others to the fact these indiscretion can't be just swept under the carpet!
Secrets, lies and sex abuse as ex-sect leader chooses life on the inside
Chris Johnston Published: July 28, 2014 - 3:14AM
Guilt can be a heavy burden - and this seems to be the case with the latest chapter in the disturbing story of a senior Victorian sect leader now in jail on child sex charges.
Ten days ago Chris Chandler, 56, drove to Melbourne from his property on French Island, in Western Port. Then he went to the Melbourne Magistrates Court to hand himself in.
Chandler was a leader of the secretive Bible sect known as Friends and Workers, or the Two by Twos, who have 2000 Victorian members. He had already admitted his guilt in eight charges in a Gippsland court including unlawful indecent assaults, indecent assaults and gross indecency on three young female victims.
But Chandler baulked at his sentence of a year's jail with a non-parole period of three months, telling his lawyers that while he was guilty, he wasn't guilty to that extent.
But then something changed. He decided he wanted to go to jail. When he turned up at Melbourne's central magistrates court to surrender - not the Morwell court his hearings had been held in, and not the one closest to his home - he hadn't told the policeman who made the charges stick what he was about to do.
Sergeant Darren Eldridge of Moe police was surprised to hear Chandler had given up his fight. He had been working on the case for two years. ''We were assisted in different ways by a number of congregation members,'' he said.
The sect is a strange offshoot of the Cooneyites; it adheres strongly to Bible sections of Matthew 10 to do with Jesus sending out disciples to cleanse ''impure spirits''.
They do not have church buildings or headquarters and do not have written policies or doctrines. Travelling missionaries live with sect families for extended periods.
Television, radio, movies, dancing and jewellery are banned. It is strong in Victoria because the Irish founder of the Cooneyites was the Protestant evangelist Edward Cooney, who moved to Mildura and died there in 1960.
A submission to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious groups by WINGS, an online group of ex-sect members, said it has been ''haphazard'' in dealing with many sexual abuse allegations.
The sect was linked to the suicides of Narelle and Stephen Henderson, aged 14 and 12, of Pheasant Creek near Kinglake, in 1994. Narelle's suicide note read: ''We committed suicide because all our life we were made to go to meetings. They try to brainwash us so much and have ruined our lives.''
The sect holds five Victorian conventions a year at Speed (near Mildura), Colac, Drouin and Thoona near Benalla, where a prominent sect family has a farm.
A Fairfax Media investigation last year established sect leaders knew of the allegations against Chandler but promoted him, in 1991, to the senior position of ''worker'', or minister - meaning he was staying in private homes until 2004 in Wodonga, Shepparton, Launceston and rural Tasmania.
He later positioned himself as a counsellor and sect contact for child sexual abuse victims. He recently returned from stints for the sect in South America and Africa.
The Victorian and Tasmanian leader of Friends and Workers, David Leitch, of Melbourne, is known to be close to Chandler. He would not comment but an ex-sect source claimed he has a file on alleged sexual offences by Chandler which he has not given to police. Leitch sacked a sect leader for reporting sexual abuse in 2013.
Ex-member ''Ruby'', of Gippsland - not her real name - said Chandler was close to her family and that she was sexually assaulted by him in 1989 when she was 10. Her allegations led to one of the eight charges against him. She says the pair were at a beach when he rubbed his erection against her and asked if she ''wanted to make him happy''. He later tried to have a conversation with her about sexual rights and consent, she said.
She said the sect had a ''culture of secrecy'' and distrust of outsiders. Sexual abuse of young people and children was common. She said she was visited by sect head Leitch before she went to police. ''He said to me 'if you go to the police there's not much they can do'.''
She said Chandler messaged her through Facebook claiming he was molested as a child, that he had a different memory of the beach incident and that he was not a paedophile but rather suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder.
''It is not so much what he did to me,'' she said.
''I know he did worse things to others who are not emotionally strong enough to act. I want to get it all out in the open.''
Sergeant Eldridge said Chandler had made contact with family members of other alleged victims before handing himself in.