It has been revealed that the Australian man at the centre of the baby Gammy controversy was previously convicted of 22 child sex offences.
While Mamamia previously reported that David Farnell was accused of having assaulted at least three young girls, the Daily Mail reports that court documents now reveal further convictions — including an offence relating to a child aged seven.
Then 39-year-old Farnell appeared in court to face assault charges related to events in 1982 and 1983 when he was 25-26, and was later charged with an additional 3 counts of procuring a girl under the age of 13 to indecently deal with him.
According to the documents obtained by Fairfax, the judge ruled Mr Farnell had “robbed” the girls of their innocence, causing them depression and affecting their ability to form relationships and perform sexually.
While serving his three-year sentence Mr Farnell was convicted of 6 further child sex offences — and another 4 counts of indecently dealing with a child under the age of 13, which landed him another 18 months in jail.
Despite these convictions he was able to enter into the Thai surrogacy arrangement because WA does not have laws in place to stop sex offenders or convicted paedophiles from doing so overseas, the Daily Mail reports.
Son defends David Farnell
These claims come as the adult son of Mr Farnell defended his father to the media, saying everyone makes mistakes.
“I can tell you how good of a father my dad was towards us. He’s amazing. He’s brought the best out of all of us kids,” the son told Fairfax.
“He’s just got a massive heart. He’s made mistakes, we’ve accepted it… he’s made up for them,” he said.
“For everything to be brought back up (is) pretty heartbreaking to be honest.”
The son did not wish to be named.
Mr Farnell and his wife have disappeared since the story made international headlines, and the RSPCA had to attend to the family dog on Wednesday afternoon after it was left at their South Bunbury home for three days, the ABC reports.
Want to read more about Gammy? Try these:
Read more on the Australian couple’s statement here.
Mia Freedman writes: Could this be the real reason why Gammy’s parents abandoned him?
Response from a parent of a child with Down Syndrome: To the Australian couple who abandoned their son with Down syndrome.
Mamamia’s first report on Gammy: The surrogate child an Australian couple didn’t want.