Ex children's services boss admits sex offences

THE former head of an Aboriginal children’s services organisation admitted two child sex offences in Newcastle Local Court yesterday.

Steven Andrew Larkins, 45, of Dunbar Street, Stockton, initially entered not guilty pleas to the charges of aggravated indecent assault and was due to face trial next week.

His barrister, Mark Preece, told the court yesterday Larkins would plead guilty to the separate incidents involving two boys, aged 11 and 12 at the time.

Police statements tendered to the court, which have not yet been agreed by Larkins in detail despite his guilty pleas, say he was a Scout leader when the incidents occurred in the early and late 1990s.

He also pleaded guilty yesterday to providing a false statutory declaration in 2004.

Prosecutors are expected to formally withdraw seven other charges when the matter is mentioned in court later this week.

Earlier this month, Larkins pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing child pornography relating to 30 videos and 27 images found on his iPhone, iPad and home computer.

Larkins was chief executive officer of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services last year when another employee found a thumb drive with images on it and reported it to police.

A subsequent investigation discovered more images.

Larkins has previously admitted forging a document to show he had passed a ‘‘working with children check’’ despite being deemed a ‘‘medium risk’’ by authorities in 2003.

He continued to work with children until the child pornography was discovered last year.

Larkins has also pleaded guilty to using that forgery to obtain financial advantage, that being the $86,000 job looking after the service, which places troubled Aboriginal children into care.

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