الثلاثاء , يونيو 9 2020

Actress avoids jail for child abuse

Australian star of TV show Prisoner, Maggie Kirkpatrick

Prisoner star Maggie Kirkpatrick arrives for sentencing at a Melbourne court

Australian actress Maggie Kirkpatrick has avoided jail time after being found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage girl in 1984.

Kirkpatrick, 74, who starred in the Australian TV drama Prisoner Cell Block H, denied charges of gross indecency with a person under 16.

The court ruled on Thursday she had abused the 14-year-girl at her Melbourne home.

Kirkpatrick on Friday was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

She will be placed on a sex offenders’ registry for eight years and has to undergo a sex offenders program and rehabilitation assessment.

In sentencing, Melbourne Magistrate Peter Mealy said Kirkpatrick would have been jailed if the offences were not historical in nature, local media said.

In a statement read to the court on Thursday, the unnamed victim said she had organised a meeting with Kirkpatrick through a TV producer while she was a patient in a psychiatric hospital.

She said she had not reported the abuse until recently because she feared people would call her “crazy”.

Kirkpatrick played a warden called Joan, nicknamed the Freak, in Prisoner, a popular series set in a women’s prison.

She later appeared in a host of other Australian TV shows and in 1991 played Marilyn’s aunt Jean Chambers in Home and Away. Her most recent role was in a stage production of the musical Wicked.

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