Kimberley Pastoralist Robin Yeeda Jailed Over Multiple Child Abuse Offences

Kimberley Pastoralist Robin Yeeda Jailed Over Multiple Child Abuse Offences

A prominent WA pastoralist has been sentenced to one year and eight months' jail for sexually abusing children while he was managing a Kimberley cattle station. 

Robin Yeeda, 45, pleaded guilty to touching two children in a sexual manner and showing another two pornography on Lamboo Station near Halls Creek.

District Court Chief Judge Julie Wager described the Jaru man's offending as abuses of his powerful standing in the community.

"You have hurt young people who would have looked up to you," she said.

"When there was an age difference it was harder for them to stand up to you and because you were a person in authority."

It comes after Yeeda's brother, Laurie, was jailed for nine-and-a-half years in May 2020 for a separate spate of sex offences against children.

Prosecution counsel Saoirle McCallion said there was a culture of sexual abuse on the station at the time, a view refuted by defence counsel Mark Gunning.

Victims abused in ute and on motorbike

Most of the incidents occurred more than a decade ago when Robin Yeeda was in his early 30s.

The court heard he sexually abused two children while on a motorbike and in a ute on the station.

He told one victim not to tell anyone, but she later told her cousin in 2013. The police interviewed Yeeda that year but did not charge him until 2019.

Chief Judge Wager quoted from a victim impact statement that described the profound impact of the abuse.

"Went through a stage of my life where I felt unsafe around adult family members. When dating I couldn't trust people and I turned to alcohol to clear my mind," it said.

Chief Judge Wager said while the incidents in which he showed pornography to his victims were less serious, they still took away a child's right to an innocent upbringing.

Robin Yeeda, celebrated pastoralist, now disgraced

References tendered to the court described Yeeda as an intelligent and skilled station manager who made Lamboo viable after he took over running the station in 2002.

The court heard in the years of his offending his success in the pastoral industry made him a proud role model to Jaru people.

Yeeda left the role of Lamboo Station manager in 2019 after the child abuse charges were laid against him. 

Ted O'Connor