Australia Ex-school traffic warden facing hundreds of child sex charges gets bail

09:06  09 july  2018
09:06  09 july  2018 Source:

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A former school traffic warden facing more than 300 child sex-related charges has been granted bail.

Michael Cyril Hyde, 59, appeared in the WA District Court on Monday via video-link from Casuarina Prison.

He was granted bail by Judge Simon Stone after concerns were raised by Mr Hyde's defence team at the length of time the former school traffic warden had already spent in custody awaiting trial.

Mr Hyde was arrested just over two years ago by officers from the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team.

At the time of his arrest, police said he was working as a school traffic warden in Perth.

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He is facing a total of 317 child sex-related charges. Many of the alleged offences relate to indecent dealing and recording of children.

He is also facing one count each of sexual penetration of a child and possession of child exploitation material.

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It is alleged Mr Hyde had more than 26,000 child exploitation images and videos in his possession, the court was told.

The court was also told on Monday the 300-plus charges related to alleged sexual offending against five children between 2011-2016.

Mr Hyde's defence lawyer Max Crispe told the court his client was pleading not guilty to all charges and it was unlikely the case would go to trial this year.

"He's spent a very long time already in custody," Mr Crispe said.

Mr Crispe said the file manager at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who was initially handling the case had recently resigned.

He claimed the resignation was partly due to the fact the file manager was not being given enough resources to deal with the case.

Prosecutor Danielle Clarke said the state had a "strong case" and said if Mr Hyde was released on bail he could commit further offences and potentially interfere with witnesses.

But Judge Stone said bail conditions could be put in place to prevent this and cited the amount of time Mr Hyde had already spent in jail awaiting trial.

"For someone to be left in custody for years on end ... is of some concern," Judge Stone said.

As part of Mr Hyde's bail conditions he must not contact the alleged victims or their families, must report to police three times a week, submit a personal undertaking of $100,000, a surety of $100,000 and abide by a 9pm-7am curfew.

He is due to appear in court again on August 31.

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