Kmart Kidnapper Sentenced To Eight Years
A man who kidnapped a girl from a Kmart store north of Brisbane in December 2018, has been sentenced to eight years jail on Friday.
27-year-old Sterling Mervyn Free lured the seven-year-old from the store at North Lakes, walked her into bushland where he molested her, before returning her to the shopping centre more than an hour later.
On Friday, Free pleaded guilty to deprivation of liberty, taking a child for immoral purposes and indecent treatment of a child under 12, according to News Corp.
In sentencing, Judge Julie Dick described the offending as “every parent’s worst nightmare” and described footage of him leading the little girl from the shops as “chilling”.
Vision of Free, who has two daughters of his own, showing him leading the little girl away from the centre was played to the courtroom before he was sentenced.
Free was sentenced to eight years behind bars but will be eligible for parole in August 2021 according to News Corp.
Sunshine Coast resident and mother of Daniel Morcombe, Denise, released a statement on Twitter.
Bruce and I are shocked at the brazen nature of this frightening KMart abduction. We have privately met this loving family and on their behalf we release this Statement from the young girl’s mother. (It is in 3 seperate tweets to follow)— Denise Morcombe (@DeniseMorcombe) October 10, 2019
Here is the statement from the mother of the child who was abducted.
1. “My tiny innocent girl was well aware of stranger danger, however this person was friendly to her and tricked her into following him”— Denise Morcombe (@DeniseMorcombe) October 10, 2019
2. “no child should ever have to go through this type of trauma, and no sentence will ever be long enough to make up for the ongoing effects this will have on her”— Denise Morcombe (@DeniseMorcombe) October 10, 2019
3. “We, as a family, remain positive and are trying to move forward. We would like to thank the QPS, the QDPP and the Australian public for their support throughout this ordeal”— Denise Morcombe (@DeniseMorcombe) October 10, 2019