15 Sep 2015

Inmate blogged about victim

3:19 pm on 15 September 2015

A former inmate and criminologist is questioning how a convicted paedophile was able to write a blog that blamed one of his victims.

computer keyboard

Photo: 123RF

A blog by convicted paedophile Stephen Shone, who was jailed in 2008 for sex offences against his teenage students, has come to light.

It shows regular posts declaring his innocence, and comments about one of his victims only having herself to blame.

It also includes comments about the Parole Board's decision to deny him early release.

Criminologist Greg Newbold said prison communication with the outside world was normally restricted.

"To allow a prisoner free rein with regard to accessing social media - I think it's dangerous and I think it's wrong, and I don't know how this has taken place."

Mr Newbold said Shone's choice of blog topics was not doing him any favours.

"Prisoners who do that... They really turn the key on themselves," he said. "Nobody who puts up a blog with the kinds of things he's written on is going to get him[self] parole."

He said he did not think any prisoner should have free access to blog sites without vetting by prison authorities.

"It looks to me, with the case of Stephen Shone, that no vetting has taken place."

The Department of Corrections said in a statement that prisoners were not given unrestricted access to the internet, or allowed to blog directly from prison.

The department's central regional commissioner, Terry Buffery, said he knew of some cases in which prisoners had corresponded by mail with associates outside prison who maintained blogs on their behalf.

"Corrections monitors a number of blogs, social media accounts and other public websites that are alleged to be written by prisoners from time to time," he said.

"Any illegal activity that appears on these accounts, or is suspected to be occurring as a result of these accounts, is reported to police."

Mr Buffery said, while the department was mindful of victims' rights, it was often difficult to require social media websites to take down content.

Another spokesperson said the department had contacted police over Shone's blog posts.