Albury paedophile jailed

AN Albury man who had sex with a teenage boy after they met in an internet chat room and exchanged mobile phone numbers was yesterday jailed for six months.

The man, 49, who cannot be named, appeared in Albury Local Court for sentence on three counts of sexual intercourse with a youth aged between 14 and 16.

Magistrate Gordon Lerve took into account two other charges of the same offence on a schedule prepared by a Director of Public Prosecutions representative and a further offence of inciting a person under 16 to commit an act of indecency.

A suppression order was imposed on the man’s name in August and Mr Lerve continued it yesterday.

Mr Lerve said the sexual activity was restricted to two meetings a few weeks apart and there was no suggestion the complainant was subject to any coercion.

“The offender met the complainant on an internet chat room,” Mr Lerve said.

“The irresistible inference is that the offender was trawling such sites in order to meet young men such as the complainant.

“There could be little doubt on the facts on which I have to pass sentence in this matter that the complainant was a willing participant in the sexual activity.

“The fact remains, however, he was under the age of consent.”

Mr Lerve said on the material provided to him there was no substantial harm to the complainant.

The liaison was discovered when emails were observed with the complainant, 15, indicating his year level at school.

He said the man resigned from employment he had for 24 years after the offences were reported and made no attempt to abrogate his responsibilities as an adult undertaking such activities.

Mr Lerve said the man’s wife and children were supportive of him and he was fortunate to have such support.

“I accept that the offender has made a significant contribution to the community through sporting clubs and other community involvement,” Mr Lerve said.

He said the man was appearing before a court for the first time.

“The offender will need supervision and treatment in order to ensure that there is no reoffending,” Mr Lerve said.

The six-month sentence will expire on June 13 next year with a further seven months on parole.