Shaw groomed girl on internet, court told

ALAN KEITH SHAW, 53, of Brisbane, began 'grooming' a 14-year-old Northern Rivers girl on an internet chat room in 2001.

He told her he was 17, and sent her a picture over the internet of a young male, saying it was him.

They chatted regularly, with Shaw gradually winning her trust.

Eventually the girl confided in him she was in trouble at school for not having the right sports shirt.

Shaw, in the guise of the young male, told her his uncle would come to Lismore and give her the money for a new shirt if she had sex with him. She said no.

Shaw's grooming of the girl continued over the following 12 months.

According to facts tendered to the court he manipulated her emotions, telling her she would lose favour with him if she did not perform specific sexual acts.

During their meetings he sometimes took photographs of her which he sent to at least one other man. Prosecutors rejected Shaw's claims he preyed on the girl because he was lost and lonely after being discharged from the air force.

Shaw was arrested in August 2002, when the girl identified him to police.

It was then discovered he had sexually assaulted two other young girls in similar circumstances in Queensland, for which he was jailed a month later and has remained in custody since.

In the Lismore District Court yesterday, Shaw pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges of indecent assault and sexual intercourse with a child under 16 years of age, as well as another 13 of a similar nature which were taken into account during sentencing.

While sentencing Shaw, Judge Black said he hoped the proceedings would give the young woman some type of closure.

“He has caused serious psychological damage,” he said. “And hopefully she will be able to put this behind her. I hope it will stop her from blaming herself and she can build a constructive and helpful life.”

Shaw was sentenced to an additional nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of six years and nine months, backdated to December 2004. He will be eligible for parole in September 2011.

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