Kangaroo Flat man jailed for planning rape of Thai children

Howard John Hawke, 69, was arrested just weeks before he planned to travel to Thailand to rape young children and an infant. Picture: Jason Walls
Howard John Hawke, 69, was arrested just weeks before he planned to travel to Thailand to rape young children and an infant. Picture: Jason Walls

**WARNING: This article contains disturbing and explicit content**

A KANGAROO Flat man who planned to rape infants and young children in Thailand, and filmed his sexual abuse of a 16-year-old Thai child, has been jailed for 10 years and three months.

Police arrested Howard John Hawke, 69, just weeks before he planned to travel to Thailand to rape a two-year-old child, and was attempting to procure more children.

When police raided the Kangaroo Flat boarding house he was living in on March 31, 2017, two child exploitation videos were playing on monitors in Hawke’s bedroom.

He was sentenced in the County Court in Melbourne on Thursday after pleading guilty to seven charges.

Hawke, who is HIV-positive, visited Thailand in 2015 when he filmed his violent sexual abuse of a 16-year-old child.

Police intercepted phone calls between Hawke and the girl’s mother between March 16 and 30, 2017, when he encouraged the woman to find young girls at a nearby school for him to rape.

In a phone call on March 16, he stated his desire to further violently and sexually abuse the woman’s daughter, who was now 18.

He then stated his desire to rape the victim’s two-year-old daughter.

Hawke encouraged the woman to teach the infant how to engage in sexual acts.

He planned to film the rape.

Hawke also ordered that the woman put the two-year-old girl on the phone, and Hawke described the sexual acts to her.

He encouraged the woman to abuse the infant for him, and also to record herself abusing any young girls – aged under 10 – she could find from the local school. Hawke said he got gratification from “seeing young ones hurt”.

The telephone conversations occurred daily between March 16 and 30.

Hawke transferred the woman $60 on three occasions.

Hawke sent child exploitation material on Facebook, and was in possession of 32 images and seven videos, the majority in the most serious category.

Howard John Hawke was watching child exploitation material when AFP officers raided his Kangaroo Flat residence in March last year.

Howard John Hawke was watching child exploitation material when AFP officers raided his Kangaroo Flat residence in March last year.

Recent internet searches related to the extreme sexual abuse and rape of children. Hawke visited the websites of Jetstar and Thai Airways on March 28 in preparation for his trip.

Hawke also pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of an intellectually disabled woman.

The court heard Hawke had watched child exploitation material “constantly” over a significant period.

Judge Trevor Wraight said the phone conversations pointed to the “most serious and depraved sexual and physical abuse of very young children”.

“In the vast majority of these types of cases, where the charges relate to possession or transmission of child abuse material, the offenders are not directly connected with the victims,” he said.

“In your case however, you produced the video the subject of Charge 1 and are featured in it naked and whipping a child.

“Approximately two years later you engage in numerous conversations with the mother of that child with the intention of further sexually abusing that child but, most disturbingly, you encouraged and planned to commit offences again against that girl’s own daughter who was two years of age.

“At one point you even spoke to the child.”

Hawke was jailed for 10 years and three months, with a non-parole period of seven years and six months.