Sex offender kids’ camp operator didn’t have blue card
A man who ran a children's bush camp business for three years without a blue card for working with children was later jailed for sexual offences.
James Oliver Webster, 49, who is about to be released from jail and go on a probation order, has been given another one month's imprisonment, wholly suspended for two years.
Webster knew he had to have a blue card to operate Gummies Bush Camps at Canungra, where children would come for horse riding, overnight camping trips and holiday activities.
A previous blue card issued to him expired on November 20, 2016, but Webster ran the bush camp business without the necessary positive blue card approval for another three years.
Webster pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday to carrying on a blue card regulated business without a current blue card, between November 20, 2016 and November 21, 2019.
Webster was sentenced to three and a half years' jail, with release on probation after 10 months, for sexual offences, at Southport District Court on November 21, last year.
Lawyer Chris Nyst said Webster had helped run a family farm with his parents for 20 years.
In recent years the Gummies Bush Camps business struggled financially, at a time when Webster and his mother received a $30,000 land tax bill from the State Government.
In 2017, Cyclone Debbie wiped out the bush camp property's road access, restricting trade, and the business was forced to seek a State disaster loan.
Mr Nyst said while another woman increasingly ran the bush camps, Webster remained in charge and was present from time to time until March, 2018, when he was charged with sex offences.
During a police interview Webster fully admitted his guilt and he then had no involvement in the children's camps, Mr Nyst said.
He said Webster was due to be released from jail on Friday and would then be on three years' probation.
Webster, who was educated at The Scots College in Sydney and then was a boarder at the The Southport School, has been married for 17 years and has two children.
Magistrate Rosemary Gilbert said Webster had clearly been aware of his obligations to have a blue card.
She said it was a serious example of offending and it warranted a term of imprisonment, although she suspended the one month jail term.
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Originally published as Kids' camp operator jailed for sex offences didn't have blue card