Guilty plea on sex count

A WODONGA man yesterday admitted that he had sex with an underage teenager after grooming girls on Facebook.
Nanjing Night Net

Steven James Hyatt pleaded guilty in the Wodonga Magistrates Court.

That now paves the way for his sentencing, which is likely to start on Friday.

Hyatt has been in custody for several months and once again appeared by video link.

The latest development follows extensive consultation between his barrister, Diana Price, and the prosecution.

A week ago, Ms Price said the likelihood of Hyatt making a plea on the charges, contained in two briefs of evidence, was in the range of “90-95per cent”.

Hyatt had been charged with four counts of sexual penetration with a person aged under 16.

After he was arrested and charged, Hyatt was given bail in Wodonga last November with strict bail conditions.

These included a ban on him using a phone with internet capacity, on him operating a Facebook account and from using social media.

Hyatt was banned also from having contact with girls under 16 and was required to submit his phone for police inspection.

At the time, magistrate John O’Callaghan expressed concern that Hyatt would “groom and be predatory to young woman on social media” and that the charges were “at the very upper end of seriousness”.

But Hyatt then went on the run from police, leading to an appeal for information to track him down.

After his eventual arrest he was also charged with breaching the conditions imposed with his bail.

Last Thursday, another unrelated matter was also adjourned — until June 2 — to allow time for the legal resolution being pursued in relation to the sexual offences.

Sentencing submissions will be taken in the County Court in Wodonga on Friday.

Hyatt did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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