Menu
News

Prominent Coast businessman 'manipulated' girl he 'sexually abused'

Sunshine Coast businessman Richard Michael Espray is facing multiple charges related to the alleged abuse and abduction of a teenage girl.
Sunshine Coast businessman Richard Michael Espray is facing multiple charges related to the alleged abuse and abduction of a teenage girl.

A PROMINENT Sunshine Coast businessman and motorsport enthusiast "manipulated" the young girl he is accused of abducting and abusing, a Supreme Court justice says.

Richard Michael Espray's application for bail on 21 charges, including one of abduction and 10 of indecent treatment of a child, was rejected on Wednesday.

The digital and print deal.
The digital and print deal.

The 42-year-old real estate agent will remain on remand until these charges, as well as six counts of using the internet to procure a child under 16, two of grooming a child with intent to procure a sex act and two of breach bail, are dealt with 

Justice Peter Davis described Mr Espray as "manipulative" while outlining how the defendant allegedly contacted the 13-year-old about 400 times while he was on bail. 

Justice Davis said the girl had a secret mobile phone the defendant allegedly called her on and the child phoned him at least 25 times.

Mr Espray also used his bail freedom to allegedly meet the girl at a car racing event and at a business on the coast.

"He should have understood the bail conditions," Justice Davis said as he rejected the defendant's application for release.

"The child is very young ... the conduct that is reflected in the allegations is clearly very manipulative.

"The breaches of bail were persistent and showed a complete disregard for the court's order."

Justice Davis said there was an unacceptable risk of Mr Espray "re-offending" if he was released from jail.

"There is a risk of him interfering with witnesses, influencing the complainant regarding her evidence." - NewsRegional

Topics:  abduction court crime motorsport real estate sexual abuse sunshine coast



This weekend's Northern Rivers markets list

TRADITIONAL: The Lismore Carboot Market has been operating for three decades.

Where to get fresh coffee and great local produce from

TALES: No public transport or decent roads

The faded headstone of William and Mary Alexander at Alphadale cemetery

IN THE Alphadale cemetery is William Alexander's faded headstone

Pools stay closed as the wait for parts continues

PROGRESS: Drone footage shot on Wednesday shows the latest work on the Alstonville Pool upgrade.

Controversial power upgrade making waves

Local Partners