WA politician charged with child sexual abuse remains silent on charges

Independent MP James Hayward, who was kicked out of the Nationals Party after being accused of child sexual abuse, gave no indication of his political future after his last court appearance on Monday.

Mr. Hayward did not plead any five counts relating to allegations that he sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl.

Independent Member of Parliament James Hayward leaves Perth Magistrates Court. Credit:Kruijff stone

On Monday, in Perth Magistrates’ Court, his case was adjourned for a reference to police incarceration on February 21 and his bail was renewed.

Mr Hayward did not respond to any questions from pending reporters as to whether he would fight the charges or step down from the WA Parliament.

The Southwest MP made a cameo appearance in the upper house last week, after missing three sittings, allowing him to continue to receive his salary and allowances while the trial continues.

If a politician misses six sessions in a row, he can be charged with contempt of Parliament and removed from his post.

With Parliament set to recess at the end of this week, Mr Hayward will not be required to attend Parliament until February, which will ensure he receives his parliamentary salary and allowances over the Christmas and New Years period. .

Mr Hayward was suspended from the National Party earlier this month and resigned from the party the next day, WA Nationals leader Mia Davies then calling on him to step down from Parliament after calling his position “untenable”.

Mr Hayward faces three counts of indecent acts with a child under 13, one count of causing a child under 13 to commit an indecent act and one count of persistent sexual behavior with allegations that allegedly took place earlier in 2021.

Politician Firey Productions, based in the southwestern town of Bunbury, went into liquidation in September and owed $ 440,235.76 to the Australian tax office.

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