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Victims of former Ainslie Football Club coach Stephen Porter tell court of lasting impact of abuse

The ACT Supreme Court has heard from victims of child sex offender Stephen Porter


A victim of disgraced former football coach Stephen Porter has told the ACT Supreme Court the abuse he suffered left him unable to trust his own instincts about people.

Key points:

  • Victims of former football coach Stephen Porter delivered impact statements in his sentencing

  • Porter's psychologist told the court he had a moderate to high risk of reoffending

  • Justice Loukas-Karlsson said the court "read, heard, understood, and respects" the victims' impact statements

Porter pleaded guilty to four charges, including maintaining a sexual relationship with a child, grooming, using a child to generate child abuse material and possessing child exploitation material.

He is already in jail after asking the court to send him there, in anticipation of his formal sentencing.

One victim, who was filmed without his knowledge after Porter installed a hidden camera in his bedroom, wrote in the victim impact statement:

"I will never in my life forgive you."

"You have changed the way I look at people in a horrible way and I struggle every day with that."

The mother of that victim also submitted a victim impacted statement, outlining how her family's lives were changed forever as a direct result of Porter's actions.

"You decimated our child's trust and innocence and I find that very hard to forgive," she said.

"Unlike a game of AFL, there are no winners today. There are just a lot of hurt children and hurt families who suffered horrific trauma at the hands of your choices and actions."

'Something I have to deal with for my whole life'

The court heard from Porter's psychologist, who told the court he had a moderate to high risk of reoffending.(ABC News)

Another victim appeared via video link to deliver his victim impact statement.

"I think it will take a long time for me to learn to trust other adults," he said.

"As I want to have a career in football, this is going to be something I have to deal with for my whole life."

Psychologist Patrick Newton, who has treated Porter, told the court he was an unusual client who was deeply depressed.

"He's clearly an intelligent man," he said.

"More importantly he's a reflective man. He reflected on the wrongfulness of his conduct."

But Mr Newton noted Porter's progress had been slow and agreed that was driven in part by his underlying psycho-sexual problems, which he said he was likely to suffer the rest of his life.

He also told the court that Porter had a moderate to high risk of reoffending.

'Shame belongs to the offender, not to you': judge

Justice Loukas-Karlsson said the court "read, heard, understood, and respect" the victims' impact statements.(Facebook: Association of Corporate Counsel Australia)

Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson had a clear message for the victims of Porter's crimes:

"Some of the victims have expressed the idea that in some way it may have been their fault," she said.

"Let me make it clear to all of you, that the fault lies with the offender. Not with any of you.

"Some of you have expressed shame, the shame belongs to the offender. Not to you."

Justice Loukas-Karlsson said the court had listened to the experiences of all victims.

"I repeat; the court has read, heard, understood, and respects your victim impact statements and the court must also ensure a just result taking into account all the proper principles of law and that will occur," she said.

"The court notes the courage of all the victims in coming forward."

Porter is set to be sentenced on July 29.

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