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Tag: Jedi Council

No jail for defence force sex ring ‘wolf’ Hastings Fredrickson

A FORMER defence contractor who emailed photos of women he secretly filmed during sex, while deriding them as “moles”, has avoided a jail stint.

Hastings Fredrickson, who subjected women to “humiliation and ridicule” after distributing the photos to members of the military sex ring dubbed the Jedi Council, will most likely serve his 15-month sentence as an intensive corrections order.

Fredrickson, 41, pleaded guilty to three counts of using a carriage service to harass, menace or offend. He described the women in the emails as “moles” and “sluts” and gave himself the title of “The Wolf of Woolloomooloo”.

Fredrickson was married when he met a woman in an airport terminal in Melbourne and began a sexual relationship with her. The Sydney District Court heard he sent emails with photos and screenshots of the pair having sex to Jedi Council members.

Fredrickson was one of 180 ADF employees sacked over the Jedi scandal, although he was cleared of wrongdoing in an official investigation.

Photos of a female senior officer were also sent by Fredrickson, the court heard.

A psychologist report tendered to court described him as having a “personality disorder”.

Judge Paul Lakatos said he was not convinced Fredrickson was “genuinely remorseful”, but took into account a guilty plea and previous blemish-free criminal record in electing not to send him to jail.

Credit: Amy Dale, The Daily Telegraph

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‘Jedi Council’ military sex scandal victims read impact statements in court sentencing of former commando

Two women have described how their lives were turned upside down by the military’s so-called Jedi Council sex scandal.

The pair read victim impact statements at a sentencing hearing for the group’s ringleader, Hastings Fredrickson.

The 41-year-old former commando pleaded guilty in August to three charges of using a carriage service to cause offence.

One of the women, who cannot be identified, said she was so humiliated she underwent counselling and was forced to work part-time after being targeted by the group.

She was named in sexually explicit and degrading emails sent by Fredrickson in July 2010 to 12 other men, including 10 serving members of the Australian Defence Force.

The recipients included a lieutenant colonel and a lance corporal.

“I now struggle to function in most aspects of my life,” she told the court.

“He used me, violating my privacy.

“I’ve lost over a year of my life.”

Fredrickson secretly filmed himself having sex with another woman and emailed several still images with demeaning captions to his military mates.

The woman told the Downing Centre District Court she suffered from anxiety and depression and was “haunted by the words used to describe me”.

She described Fredrickson’s actions as “calculating and predatory” and said she would “not go down as one of the victims exploited by an army officer”.

Fredrickson told the court he took full responsibility for his actions and admitted that filming and disseminating the details of his sexual encounters was a clear breach of trust.

In September 2010 his then employer, defence contractor Thales Australia, conducted an internal audit and found some of the emails.

Fredrickson was sacked on the spot.

He told the court: “On paper, it was gallows or black humour.”

“I was not aware of the legality, I guess you could say, of the offences.”

Fredrickson’s barrister Jack Pappas said his client had sought help from three psychologists since 2007.

“This man’s mental health was a major contributing factor in his offending,” Mr Pappas said.

A clinical psychologist appearing for the defence, Dr Kenneth Byrne, said Fredrickson had a personality disorder with narcissistic features.

When asked whether Fredrickson would have realised the impact his action had on the women, Dr Byrne said: “He would have had some awareness, but in a limited way.”

He said it was unlikely that Fredrickson would reoffend.

Crown prosecutor Peter Neil, SC, said Fredrickson’s actions were clearly calculated.

“When we look at the captions on the photos, the degrading language in the emails, this was done to boost his self-esteem,” Mr Neil said.

“It undermines not merely standards of morality, it is truly criminal.”

Last year, the ‘Jedi Council’ scandal led to multiple sackings within the defence force.

Fredrickson was arrested and charged in November 2013, despite earlier being cleared of wrongdoing in a Defence investigation.

Two other members of the sex ring faced charges but they were dropped.

Fredrickson’s sentencing will continue in February.

Credit: Alex McDonald, ABC News

Alleged army leader of ‘Jedi Council’ sex ring pleads guilty to offensive emails

A former army commando, allegedly the ringleader of the so-called “Jedi Council”, has pleaded guilty to three charges relating to sending “offensive” emails among a group of military personnel, as Defence data reveals 386 dismissals from the force over the last two years.

In 2013 the Australian Defence Force (ADF) revealed an investigation into a group of military personnel who had allegedly created or shared explicit and degrading emails including images of women engaged in sexual acts, taken without their knowledge. A number of ADF personnel were sacked over the incident, and several were referred to police.

On Tuesday Hastings Fredrickson pleaded guilty in a Sydney court to three charges of using a carriage service to cause offence. Three other charges were withdrawn and dismissed.

“The charges to which pleas have been entered relate to three emails sent to a closed group of recipients in July 2010,” Fredrickson’s lawyer Peter Woodhouse told Guardian Australia. “From the plea it is conceded the content of those emails was offensive.”

Fredrickson is due to appear again for sentencing on 22 August.

“The matters have been committed to the NSW district court for sentence,” Woodhouse said. “The sentence to be imposed is, of course, a matter solely for the sentencing judge; however in my opinion the matter does not call for a jail term.”

“Both the text and images are explicit, derogatory, demeaning and are repugnant to me,” chief of army Lieutenant General David Morrison AO said as he announced the investigation into the allegations in June last year, describing them as “worse than the Skype incident”.

The women did not know they were being recorded. “They are victims here. They are not in any way shape or form part of what this group has done,” Morrison said. “They are not a group in their own right. They have been targeted by these men.”

More than 170 people were identified as “peripheral” to the group’s exchanges.

In November the ADF sacked six members, ranging from sergeant to major, “in relation to the production or distribution of highly inappropriate material demeaning women, across both defence computer systems and the public internet”.

The sacked men were among more than 180 people dismissed by the ADF in the year to 30 June 2014, including 138 from the army. Most were regular army soldiers dismissed for substance abuse. Defence also sacked 28 navy and 18 air force personnel.

In total, 150 people across the three arms of Defence had their service terminated over prohibited substances. Another 19 were sacked for misconduct or unacceptable behaviour, and 25 – all from the army – for civilian offences. One permanent navy junior sailor was sacked for a civil conviction.

The numbers of dismissal were lower than the previous year, when 204 people were dismissed from the defence force.

A spokeswoman for the Defence Department told Guardian Australia: “There is a zero tolerance to any conduct in the Australian Defence Force which falls below the standards required, as was recently reaffirmed by chief of the defence force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC, prior to assuming his role in July 2014.”

In November 2012, following the so-called “Skype scandal”, Defence set up the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (Dart) to investigate more than 2,400 allegations of abuse within the ranks of the ADF over decades.

Credit: Helen Davidson, The Guardian

Former commando and ‘Jedi Council’ member, Hastings Fredrickson, pleads guilty to sharing sex photos

The alleged ringleader of a military sex ring has pleaded guilty to distributing photos of an unsuspecting woman involved in sexual acts.

Former Army commando Hastings Fredrickson was one of the so-called Knights of the Jedi Council, whose members are accused of sharing explicit videos and emails boasting about their sexual exploits with women.

Fredrickson sent several graphic emails in July 2010 to 12 other members of the group.

The emails included images of a woman who was filmed having sex without her knowledge.

The Jedi Council scandal led to multiple sackings and Fredrickson was arrested and charged in November last year, despite earlier being cleared of wrongdoing by an Australian Defence Force (ADF) investigation.

In court today, Fredrickson pleaded guilty to three counts of using a carriage service to cause offence.

Fredrickson’s lawyer, Peter Woodhouse, conceded that three of six emails sent by his client were objectively offensive.

Mr Woodhouse said he believed the offences should not attract jail time.

“It’s not appropriate for me to comment on the likely sentence; that’s ultimately a matter for the sentencing judge,” he said.

“But my opinion is that these offences should not warrant a jail sentence.”

Three other counts of using a carriage service to cause offence against Fredrickson have been dropped.

Fredrickson is due to reappear in court on August 22, when a sentencing date is likely to be set.

He is one of more than 180 people sacked from the ADF in the past year for various offences.

Credit: Alex McDonald, ABC News

More than 180 Australian Defence Force members sacked for misconduct in past year, figures show

More than 180 members of the Australian Defence Force were sacked in the past year for misconduct ranging from the use of prohibited substances to serious sexual offences, new figures show.

Among those forced out of the military was the alleged ringleader of the so-called Knights of the Jedi Council, Hastings Fredrickson, who has appeared in a Sydney court to face six charges of using a carriage service to offend.

Eighty-nine dismissals from the army involved the use of prohibited substances.

More than 50 others had their service careers terminated for other forms of misconduct and unacceptable behaviour, while a further 15 were sacked for civil offences.

The vast majority of members sacked in the past year came from the Australian army, with 138 of its members dismissed by the ADF.

Twenty-six Navy and 18 Air Force members were sacked.

These dismissals or “involuntary separations”, as Defence calls them, were not necessarily related to abuse, a Defence spokesman said.

The military aspirations of former Australian Defence Force Academy cadet Daniel McDonald were finally extinguished in November last year.

The cadet at the centre of the Skype scandal was found guilty in the ACT Supreme Court of committing an act of indecency and using a carriage service in an offensive manner.

Fredrickson and more than a dozen others allegedly shared explicit videos and emails boasting about their sexual exploits with unsuspecting women.

An initial Defence investigation cleared them of wrongdoing but Fredrickson, a former commando turned reservist, was later charged by NSW Police.

He was issued with a termination notice by Defence in July last year, which he did not challenge.

His military career was terminated in September.

Sacking prior to court case completion ‘grossly unfair’

Fredrickson’s lawyer Peter Woodhouse would not comment on the specifics of the case but said, in some instances, Defence has been too hasty to sack some members.

He described as “grossly unfair” any decision to cut short someone’s military career before a case had run its course in the civilian system.

“It’s something that we’re seeing more frequently than we used to,” Mr Woodhouse said.

“We’re concerned that it might be coming at the expense of giving due process and procedural fairness to these military personnel that are under investigation.”

Mr Woodhouse said some of those whose military service is terminated struggle to find other work.

“Many military people are career military and they don’t have any other skills to fall back on,” he said.

“When their career in the military is terminated, they’re lost effectively.”

Credit: Alex McDonald, ABC News

‘Jedi council’ emailer appears in court

A man accused of being a member of the Australian Defence Force’s “knights of the Jedi Council” has appeared in a Sydney court.Hastings Frederickson, 40, has been charged with six counts of using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend.

The former army officer is allegedly involved in a group of officers who exchanged degrading emails involving up to 10 female victims.

The group reportedly called themselves the “Jedi Council”.

He appeared briefly at the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday but his lawyer Peter Woodhouse refused to tell reporters outside the court when he would enter a plea.

Frederickson looks forward to clearing his name, Mr Woodhouse has said.

Magistrate Graeme Curran adjourned the matter until February 11.

Frederickson remains on bail.

Credit: AAP, ninemsn.com

Former commando charged over the Jedi Council sex ring emails

AN alleged ringleader of the so-called Jedi Council defence force sex ring has been charged by police.

Hastings Fredrickson, an ex-army commando, was sacked by his then employer, defence contractor Thales, about 10 days after allegations were first raised that a group of up to 17 men had shared videos of naked women.

Following an investigation by police at Kings Cross in Sydney he attended Queanbeyan police station yesterday to be charged with six counts of using a carriage service to cause offence.

It is alleged the emails were sent in 2010, in NSW, and charges are expected against two other men after recommendations from the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to the state police force.
Army chief Lieutenant General David Morrison sacked six offenders earlier this month and announced that another seven were facing the sack and that 172 troops had been investigated over the sordid affair. Frederickson was fired separately in September 2010, by his employer, the defence contractor Thales.

The emails were sent on the Defence open system and the public internet and it is understood police will allege all of the women were filmed or photographed without their knowledge.

The Australian Defence Investigative Service (ADFIS) took almost two years to progress the matter.

NSW Police began investigating Fredrickson in mid-2012 about 20 months after he was sacked.

Chief of Army David Morrison described the material allegedly sent to Fredrickson and his mates as “repugnant and highly demeaning of women.”

He said the allegations were worse than the ADFA Skype sex scandal.

The council members visited nightclubs in Darlinghurst and Paddington and elsewhere to meet women for consensual sex.

The group was allegedly co-founded by Fredrickson who allegedly sent explicit footage of himself and women to 60 other defence personnel.

General Morrison said the six sacked members were among 122 regular army and army reserve soldiers whose service was terminated due to misconduct or unacceptable behaviour.

“These 122 individuals have engaged in conduct which is inconsistent with the army’s values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork and the standards of behaviour that we demand of all members of our army,” he said.

Outside Queanbeyan Court, Frederickson’s lawyer Peter Woodhouse said his client would fight the charges.

“He looks forward to these matters being determined in court where he will meet the charges and clear his name,” Mr Woodhouse said.

Frederickson would not answer questions about the matter.

“All I can say is that I understand and acknowledge and respect the media’s right to report on these things and it will be dealt with in a court of law,” he said.

Frederickson will appear again at Downing Centre Local Court in three weeks.

Credit: News.com.au, 25 November 2013

Alleged Jedi Council man to ‘clear name’

AN alleged member of the Australian Defence Force’s “knights of the Jedi Council” looks forward to clearing his name, his lawyer says.

Hastings Frederickson, 40, was charged on Monday at Queanbeyan in NSW with six counts of using a carriage service to cause offence.

The former army member is allegedly involved in a group of officers who exchanged degrading emails involving up to 10 female victims.

The group reportedly called themselves the “Jedi Council”.

Frederickson was granted conditional bail on Monday to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on December 17.

Outside court lawyer Peter Woodhouse told reporters Frederickson looked forward to clearing his name.

“He looks forward to these matters being determined by a court where he will meet the charges and clear his name,” he said.

As journalists followed Frederickson down the street, he told a Seven Network reporter while he respected the media’s right to report on the case, it would be dealt with in the court of law.

Recently the ADF discharged six soldiers alleged to be at the centre of the Jedi Council ring.

They are alleged to have produced and distributed offensive material and imagery including filmed sex acts, dating back to 2010.

The ADF is still reviewing the allegations as part of a major investigation.

A cadet involved in the ADFA Skype scandal was also discharged recently and sailors allegedly responsible for misconduct aboard HMAS Ballarat were removed from the vessel and returned to Australia.

Dozens of other mostly serving army members are still being investigated.

Credit: The Australian, 25 November 2013

Army sex scandal exposed

They are members of the self-proclaimed ‘Jedi Council’ at the centre of an investigation described by Army chiefs as among the worst they have seen.

7News can lift the lid on the scandal engulfing our armed forces, in which 17 Army personnel are being looked into.

An exclusive investigation has revealed the nature of police allegations against three officers, along with the questions being asked of their superiors.

Police have been told the man in the captain’s hat (pictured top left) co-founded the group.

He is an Army reservist and former commando accused of videoing sex with a Victorian woman, and emailing it to his mates on the ‘Defence Restricted Network’.

Images were viewed by up to sixty ADF personnel, followed by comments on her appearance and sexual performance.

Police have identified seven female victims named ‘Married Mole Number Five’ and ‘Virgin Mole’ among others.

There are references to ‘gang bangs’ and demands for more images.

Police have been told a satellite image of one woman’s home was distributed, with personal details so that others could try to quote ‘get some action’ as well.

Investigators flew to Afghanistan to interview another woman in the RAAF.

Among the most bitter of ironies for Army chiefs, offensive comments were shared about one woman, an officer we will not identify.

Her image was once used in a promotional campaign about how great it is to be a female in the Army.

The Chief of Army has personally spoken to her.

“These are actions by men who’ve been in the Defence Force for in excess of ten years,” Lieutenant-General David Morrison said last month.

7News has contacted the three men under police investigation.

One had no comment, while a lawyer for another said his client;

“…denies all allegations of wrongdoing… if charges are proffered against [my client] he will be defending them,” lawyer Peter Woodhouse wrote.

“Mr *********** is a professional of sound reputation.”

Other men scrutinised internally by the ADF include some of the Army’s highest-ranked officers.

They are not accused of criminality, or even distributing the crass material, but they are under investigation over what they knew about the Jedi Council’s activities.

Credit: Robert Ovadia, 7 News.