HIV-positive man allegedly paid vulnerable Canberra children for sex

By Michael Inman
26 October 2018 ? 5:19pm

A HIV-positive man allegedly paid vulnerable Canberra children for unprotected sex, a court has heard.

Police allegedly discovered Robert Glen Sirl, 47, having sex with a 15-year-old girl when they raided his Gilmore home on Thursday.

An ACT Policing constable told an ACT Magistrates Court bail hearing on Friday that officers had received information that Sirl had also given other children drugs, money, or gifts in exchange for sex.

Constable Christine Walters said Sirl - who police databases indicated had HIV - never wore a condom when he had sex with the 15-year-old girl.

Constable Walters said the other children had not yet made statements and police believed they feared the defendant.

The court heard police had gone to the Gilmore address to arrest Sirl after he allegedly raped and mutilated a woman in August, causing injuries so severe she almost bled to death.

Sirl wore a blue forensics jumpsuit when he appeared before Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter on Friday afternoon on charges of sexual intercourse without consent, sexual intercourse with a child, and recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Court documents, tendered during the bail application, said Sirl allegedly raped a woman in August.

Sirl then allegedly inserted a foreign object into the women's vagina, causing her a large amount of pain.

The woman began to bleed heavily, and when she could not stem the flow by the following morning, pleaded with him for help.

Sirl, however, allegedly threw her a bath mat and told her he had friends visiting.

The woman called paramedics and was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery to repair severe lacerations to her vaginal wall and cervix.

Court documents said the woman required a blood transfusion.

Sirl told the court that the charges had been "all a bit of a shock".

He claimed the girl had told him she was 18 years old.

"I didn't realise I was breaking the law at the time," he said.

"She said she was in foster care, I didn't think she was still in there."

Sirl also said he had been in a relationship with the woman, had sex with her on the night of the alleged incident, but did not rape her or cause the injuries.

"She was in the toilet by herself for hours and called me over. I did go and help her," he said.

"That's not how it was. I went over to make sure she was alright.

"I'm not a violent man towards women. I'm totally against violence against women. It's not me at all."

Ms Hunter refused Sirl bail, saying he posed a risk of reoffending, could fail to reappear before the court, could tamper with evidence, or interfere with witnesses.

The magistrate noted that Sirl had a long criminal history, including convictions for drugs and violence, and had been on conditional liberty at the time of the alleged offences.

The matter will return to court in November.