Soccer coach convicted of child porn crimes

A QUEENSLAND soccer coach who posed as a teenage girl on social media so boy players would send him naked photos of themselves will be deported.

The 23-year-old Scottish national pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on Monday to more than 30 offences including making and possessing child exploitation material, procuring a sexual act by false pretence and indecent treatment of a child.

The court heard the man was coaching at a Brisbane soccer club when he targeted eight members aged 14-17 through the popular photo swapping app, Snapchat.

Pretending to be a teenage girl named Sarah, the man coaxed the boys into posing naked or in their underwear and performing sexual acts in exchange for nude pictures of the make-believe girl whose photos he had taken from the internet.

He then took screen shots of the images via the app, which disappear after a few seconds if they are not saved, and stored them on a USB.

The offending went on for 18 months before the club secretary discovered some of the images on the coach's work computer and raised the alarm early last year.

A police raid of the man's home uncovered more than 400 depraved images - some of the boys from the club and others of unknown children which the court heard included depictions of penetration, sadism and bestiality.

The coach, who was in Australia on a working visa, was arrested. He has since spent eight months in jail and five months in immigration detention.

Most of the victims' parents were in court on Monday for the sentencing and wept as the details of the offending were read out. Some shook their head, rejecting the contents of an apology letter his defence barrister Ruth O'Gorman read on his behalf.

Ms O'Gorman said her client was extremely remorseful for his behaviour which he claimed was motivated by confusion over his sexuality and the loneliness he felt in a foreign country.

She also pointed to a psychologist report diagnosing him with a depressive order and suggesting he was at a low risk of re-offending.

But Judge Julie Ryrie said that despite the man's young age and lack of criminal history, there were no exceptional circumstances that counteracted the seriousness of his offending while in a position of trust.

"It has to be said there was some degree of premeditation,” Judge Ryrie said

"You went about using aliases online and pretending to be somebody that you weren't ... in order to get the young boys to send images of themselves which ultimately you abused.”

The man was sentenced to three years jail. The sentence was suspended from Monday to account for the time already served and so the convicted child sex offender could be immediately deported to Scotland. He will not be allowed to ever return to Australia.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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