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Paedophile jailed in ‘toughest’ sentence

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Speaking outside a Bali court, founder of Project Karma and former Victorian police officer, Glen Hulley,
speaking in relation to the sentencing of Robert Fiddes Ellis.

Australian man Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis has been found guilty in what is believed to be the heaviest custodial sentence in the history of Bali for paedophile crimes. Picture: AFP

AN Australian man has been found guilty of multiple paedophile crimes against young girls in Bali and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

In a damning decision, Judges in the Denpasar District Court today found former Melbourne man Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis guilty and gave him what is believed to be the heaviest custodial sentence in the history of Bali for such crimes.

The 70-year-old, who had been living in Bali, had asked judges to allow him to pray shortly before they brought down their verdict.

But his prayers, for a light sentence, were not answered.

Australian man Robert Ellis, pictured at his sentencing today. Picture: Supplied

Australian man Robert Ellis, pictured at his sentencing today. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Judges stopped short of giving him the maximum available 20 years but used their verdict to appeal to Indonesians to be on the lookout for western paedophiles coming to Bali to destroy generations of children and the Balinese community.

Presiding Judge Wayan Sukanila said Ellis had destroyed the future of the child victims and damaged Bali’s image.

“The Judges are of the opinion that the defendant is a paedophile and it is true that the defendant had sexually abused 11 children,” Judge Sukanila said.

Given his age the 15-year jail term would be close to a death sentence.

Ellis was exasperated at the result. While admitting to his acts with the young girls he had claimed, in court and in a series of disturbing written documents and missives, that he had done nothing wrong.

Ellis told the media after this afternoon’s sentence that the decision was not fair.

“Well I am 70 now, 15 years would take me to 85, I don’t know if I will live that long,” Ellis said.

“I have nothing more to say I’m sorry.”

Prosecutors had recommended that Ellis be jailed for 16 years, saying that his actions had damaged the future of Indonesian children and as an adult he should have protected not harmed them.

Ellis was however lucky to escape more serious consequences such as chemical castration.

Indonesia this month passed new laws to sentence paedophiles to chemical castration and even the death penalty. But as the laws are not retrospective Ellis had not faced these.

Australian Robert Ellis, 70, admitted to the shocking crimes in a Bali court. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Australian Robert Ellis, 70, admitted to the shocking crimes in a Bali court. Picture: Lukman S. BintoroSource:News Corp Australia

Former Victorian police officer, Glen Hulley, whose organisation Project karma fights child sex offences in South East Asia and was instrumental in Ellis being brought to justice, was in court for the verdict.

“I hope that this sentence sends a very clear message to other paedophiles and other sex offenders that are travelling to Bali for this purpose,” Mr Hulley said. He said he had been told that 15 years was the heaviest sentence for such crimes ever in Bali.

“This man has caused stress and trauma to multiple children over an extended period of time and it calls for a very severe penalty,” he said.

So unrepentant was Ellis that during his trial he wanted to deliver a disturbing and warped defence of his crimes and tell the court that his abuse of the girls was not wrong or criminal but rather playful and gentle.

“I am not a pedophile (sic),” he declared.

Late last month, in the closing stages of the trial, Ellis wrote a 10-page defence statement but his lawyers convinced him it would not be in his interests to deliver it.

News Corporation has obtained a copy of the document, which provides an alarming insight into his twisted and predatory mind. And rather than contrition or begging for forgiveness, Ellis made a strident defence of his actions in sexually abusing 11 girls, aged eight to 17 years, in the period 2014-2015.

Filled with a sense of righteousness Ellis gave no indication that he believes he has done anything wrong and lambasted the Indonesian justice system and its officials.

Robert Ellis wanted to deliver a disturbing and warped defence of his horrific crimes via a series of handwritten letters. Picture: Supplied

Robert Ellis wanted to deliver a ‘disturbing’ and ‘warped’ defence of his horrific crimes via a series of handwritten letters. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

During his trial Ellis admitted digital anal penetration of the girls while bathing them at his home in Bali, where he has lived since 2013. The children were given gifts and money after the sexual abuse. He admitted it was easier to do such acts in Indonesia than Australia.

“The girls that the media calls victims are in fact the closest friends I have in the world and I dare say they were horrified when they learned of my arrest. To say that I was a bad influence on the girls is nothing but vile slander. I was the only benefactor they ever had and ridiculous, hypocritical public servants have stolen me away from them,” Ellis said.

“The world-shattering, eminently newsworthy events occasioning my arrest were not sexual relations with children but rather playful digital insertion (in anus) while bathing them. I was always gentle with them and I know they bear me no grudge.

In a bizarre series of letters tendered to the court, Australian man Robert Ellis professed his innocence despite being found guilty of paedophile charges and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Picture: Supplied

In a bizarre series of letters tendered to the court, Australian man Robert Ellis professed his innocence despite being found guilty of paedophile charges and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

“Any outrage has come from excluded social groups like parents and teachers association, child protection agencies and the police who invariably hold the opinion that supports their interests.”

And he blasts Indonesian law which prescribes penalties of up 15 years for sexual abuse and paedophilia.

“It is hard to believe that any country’s statue laws treat playful digital insertion as a felony like murder, armed robbery (sic), kidnaping (sic), torture, blackmail etc and prescribe a penalty of 5-15 years imprisonment for it … Why doesn’t a judge have the courage to come out and say ‘we are ashamed of some of our laws for excessive punishment is not justice,” Ellis said.

“The effect of the trouble I’m embroiled in is to make it seem that the only life acceptable to the police and authority is that of a zombie robot. Sexual activity is treated like something that should be purged from society. It was God who made sex … Certain of these girls have their images enshrined in my heart. I believe our friendship had God’s blessing. (I fear for the eternal welfare of those who have tried to destroy us).

He accused the court of vile slander despite his horrific crimes. Picture: Supplied

He accused the court of ‘vile slander’ despite his horrific crimes. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

“Their happiness made my happiness and the cost was all worthwhile. The public enemies who broke us up will never know what they have done.”

Ellis claims he is lonely and unmarried with a sex instinct that is ministered to.

“My first liking, sexually, is for girls or young women in their late teens. Young girls with undeveloped breasts are, for me second best, or better than nothing. I am not interested in having sexual relations with them.

“Strictly speaking the anus is not a sexual part of the body. It is common to both sexes. I believe it is the prosecutor who says that it hurt, not the girls. I feel sure that they bear me no grudge and are not calling for me to be punished.”

Ellis claimed that for reasons he can’t understand it is the child protection agency and policewomen “who are after my blood”.

“Perhaps because this is the first spicy story to come up in months and they are determined to capitalise on it to the utmost.”

Ellis accuses the authorities of ruining their lives and putting “a blind eye to the telescope”.

And he says: “This court is now poised to commit another disgraceful Indonesian miscarriage of justice”.

Ellis also tells of the hardship of jail — no-one visits him, he has no mobile phone and he can’t speak and understand the language.

He also outlined his law-abiding past — he has no tattoos, never uses foul language, doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol or take drugs.

“I don’t gamble or cheat or steal or murder or bear false witness and ride a motorbike slowly and carefully, especially when carrying children,” he said in the document.

Those same children who he rode carefully while transporting are the same ones he sexually abused.

And in a horrifying twist, one of the women who delivered some of the young victims had herself, as a child, been a victim of Ellis.