The argument over paedophile Maurice Van Ryn’s sentence will return to court in October.
In March, the self-confessed child rapist applied for special leave to appeal against his increased sentence in the High Court of Australia.
The matter has now been listed for oral argument on October 14 in Sydney. This involves each side being allocated 20 minutes to convince two or three judges to grant or refuse special leave to appeal.
This announcement follows the news an application to reopen Van Ryn’s sentencing due to a clerical error had been refused by the Supreme Court of NSW’s Court of Criminal Appeal.
A spokesperson for the victims’ families said Van Ryn’s attempts to appeal his sentence continued the hurt they endured, but the court case could have positive repercussions on a national level.
“On one hand the fact this case has not been brought to a conclusion continues to contribute to the pain and suffering of the victims and their families,” he said.
“Until it is, it’s very difficult for everyone to move on.
“However, we understand Van Ryn is challenging the length of his sentence on the basis that the court didn’t take into account his agreement to take libido-reducing drugs to stop his offending when released from jail.
“This gives an opportunity for the High Court to set precedence in Australia for other cases, so others can’t use it as a mitigating defence.”
Last year, District Court Judge Clive Jeffreys sentenced Van Ryn to a maximum sentence of 13 years' jail with a non-parole period of seven years for his offences relating to child sex abuse.
In his reasoning for the decision, Judge Jeffreys said he was taking into account Van Ryn's "clear expression of contrition for child sex offences" and that he had ADHD.
The judge also referred to Van Ryn's previous good character and his expressions of remorse to his relatives and a psychiatrist.
This sentence was met with outrage from the families of the victims and the community, and in February Van Ryn’s sentence was nearly doubled on appeal to a minimum 13 years and six months.