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Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

36 underage sex charges against Kyogle man withdrawn

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A Kyogle man will stand trial in the District Court on 14 historic underage sex charges after police withdrew 36 charges against him.

Matthew Robert Frith appeared in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday facing 56 historic underage sex charges multiple counts of  including aggravated sexual intercourse and sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16.

Police allege the offences occurred at Kyogle between April 2010 and July 2011.

It is alleged on April 8, Mr Frith, who was then aged 26, had his first encounter with the girl, who can’t be named for legal reasons, when she was 14.

Mr Frith was charged with four counts of indecent assault of a person under 16, three counts of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16 and three counts of aggravated (as the girl was allegedly drunk) sexual intercourse.

Three more times in 2010, May 7August 1 and October 3, the alleged encounters continued.

A further six counts of sexual intercourse with a person under 16, two counts of indecent assault of a person under 16 and three counts of using a child of or above the age of 14 years for the production of child abuse material, were laid over the alleged incidents.

In 2011 police allege Mr Frith met the girl seven times, twice in April, three times May and once in June and July respectively.

Mr Frith was charged with 21 counts of using a child of or above the age of 14 years for the production of child abuse material, five counts of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16 and four counts of indecent assault of a person under 16, over the alleged encounters.

The 33 year-old was arrested on April 8 this year and taken to Casino police station where he was questioned and charged with 56 offences involving a girl aged 14 and 15.

Following his arrest Mr Frith was granted conditional bail by police who noted the offences were historical, Mr Frith had no contact with the victim and doesn’t know where she lives, he was in a stable relationship and as he had lived at Kyogle since childhood he didn’t pose a flight risk.

On Tuesday Mr Frith’s solicitor lodged an application to waive his right to a committal hearing in the Local Court on 14 charges relating to alleged incidents between April 2010 and July 2011.

He also lodged a section 166 certificate listing six ‘backup’ charges to be considered at sentencing by the judge.

The prosecution then withdrew 36 charges against Mr Frith including multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault, using a child over 14 years to make child abuse material and having sexual intercourse with a person between 14 and 16 years old.

Magistrate David Heilpern adjourned Mr Frith’s matters until November 1 at Lismore District Court.


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