David Alfred Crampton found guilty in Armidale District Court of historical sexual abuse of 12-year-old girl near Inverell in 1970s

Detention justified: David Alfred Crampton was found guilty of two offences by a jury in Armidale District Court.
Detention justified: David Alfred Crampton was found guilty of two offences by a jury in Armidale District Court.

A JUDGE has refused a Tamworth man bail after he was found guilty of the historical sexual assault of a young girl in the 1980s near Inverell. 

David Alfred Crampton was ordered into custody in Armidale District Court by Judge Deborah Payne who said a jail sentence was “inevitable” after a jury found him guilty of two offences.

“There has been no admission of offending behaviour,” she told the court, after the Crown lodged a detention application.

“The Crown says a period of imprisonment was overwhelmingly likely … I would have thought it was almost inevitable”.

Following a lengthy trial, a jury found Crampton guilty of the sexual intercourse without consent of a minor of a 12-year-old girl at a village outside of Inverell, between October and December in 1986.

The maximum penalty at the time was 10 years. He was also found guilty of having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl between November and December of the same year.

Some of the details surrounding the case have been suppressed for legal reasons.

“This is serious offending, with no element of contrition or remorse,” Judge Payne said in the bail hearing.

Crampton was found not guilty of more than 20 other offences by the jury.

Crampton’s barrister Ben Barrack argued his client’s sheep business “would utterly collapse” if he was taken into custody.

Mr Barrack said his client needed to “pass on the knowledge of the properties and the livestock” to contractors before being sentenced, and had worked throughout the trial.

”Including getting up before dawn and performing as many duties as he can … and performing duties in the evening when he gets home,” he said.

Mr Barrack submitted there were “significant issues” the court would need to consider from Crampton’s mental health at the time ahead of sentencing.

The crown argued Crampton had not shown cause why his detention was not justified and Judge Payne agreed.

“He has been able to manage 1200 acres ... manage a significant number of sheep,” she said. “He has been able to, despite his age, work hard throughout the trial.”

She said Crampton had “made those admissions in the phone call”, which she told the court “would have to be considered as extremely serious” and the community would expect a significant sentence. Crampton will be sentenced in May.