29 June 2023

Ex-Leeton citizen of the year convicted of bestiality faces fresh charges

| Oliver Jacques
Alan Chesworth with medals around him

Alan Chesworth was once an award winner who now faces court yet again. Photo: Facebook.

WARNING: Graphic content

A former Leeton citizen of the year who previously served jail time for bestiality, firearm, drug offences and possession and distribution of child abuse material will face court again in July 2023.

Alan George Chesworth was arrested by police at a Leeton premises on Friday 23 June and charged with failure to comply with reporting obligations and possession or use of a prohibited weapon without a permit.

The 79-year-old faced Wagga court on Saturday 24 June, where he was granted bail and scheduled to appear before Magistrate Trevor Khan in Griffith court on Wednesday 28 June for a court mention, which was to determine the future direction of his case.

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He attended the Griffith courthouse on Wednesday morning and waited patiently for his court mention, but his matter was adjourned until 19 July 2023.

According to court documents, troubles began for Chesworth in March 2021, when he took his computer to a repair technician, who discovered it contained child abuse material.

Police commenced an investigation which revealed the Leeton man was in a sexual relationship with a co-offender referred to in court documents as “Mr Harrison”, and that the pair exchanged child abuse material depicting prepubescent males. Thousands of images of child abuse material were found on Chesworth’s phone.

Griffith Court House.

Chesworth will face Griffith Court in July. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

The police also discovered videos and images of Chesworth participating in sexual acts with Mr Harrison’s dog.

An unregistered air rifle and two bags of methylamphetamine were also found by police at his home.

He pleaded guilty to charges of bestiality, firearm and drug offences, together with the possession and dissemination of child abuse material and was sentenced to a total of three years and six months’ imprisonment, including a non-parole period of two years and one month.

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He appealed on the grounds of judicial error and that the sentence was “manifestly excessive”, but this was dismissed by the Supreme Court in May.

Prison sentencing represented a rapid fall from grace for Chesworth, who in 2019 was named Leeton Shire Council’s citizen of the year for his extensive volunteer work with groups such as the Rotary Club of Leeton Centre, the Leeton Presbyterian Church and the Royal Agricultural Society, who gave him life membership.

At its ordinary monthly meeting on 27 July 2022, Leeton Shire Council passed a motion to revoke the “2019 Leeton Citizen of the Year Title from recipient”, without naming him.

Chesworth will remain on bail until his court hearing on 19 July. According to his bail conditions, he is not to drink alcohol, take non-prescription drugs or use the internet or a mobile phone.

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