Police praised for bringing serial sex offender to justice
MORE than 100 witnesses were interviewed as part of a lengthy investigation by local detectives in their bid to take down serial sex offender and former masseur Timothy Moffat.
Detective Acting Inspector Peter O'Reilly and Detective Senior Constable Daniel Trotman conducted the complex 2014 investigation dubbed Strike Force Trotline after police received a flood of complaints against the then 66-year-old man.
The detectives have now been commended by the NSW Police Force for their tenacity in seeing Moffatt charged and subsequently jailed over the 37 indecent assaults, and one count of sexual assault.
The disturbing crimes inflicted on a total of 48 victims took place at Coffs Harbour in the span of a decade, from 2003-2014.
The victims aged in range from 18 to 70.
During Moffatt's sentencing the court heard he would earn the trust of victims over a number of appointments at his massage parlour before committing the offences, which would involve him massaging the women's private parts.
He told one sexual assault victim they "must be hard to please" when they expressed disapproval to his actions.
Det Trotman read out several impact statements on behalf of the victims, who said they had been left feeling "embarrassed", "violated" and "anxious".
Despite a recent autism diagnosis Judge David Frearson said the masseur's actions were "calculated and deliberate" before sentencing him to 13 years and six months in jail with a non-parole period of 9 years.
Det A/Insp O'Reilly and Det Trotman were both awarded a Northern Region Certificate of Merit at the recent Coffs Clarence Police District Awards.
"In addition to the substantial workload associated with the charges, the investigators were required to extend significant witness support to numerous people," Inspector Brendan Gorman, hosting the awards, told the audience.
The detectives were congratulated by Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys and Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell who had visited Coffs Harbour for the event.