Burnett man, 27, convicted for grooming 14-year-old girl
A SOUTH Burnett man has received a suspended prison sentence after he was charged for using a carriage service to groom a 14-year-old girl and using a carriage service to solicit child pornography material.
Jon Richard Thomas Faulkner, 27 pleaded guilty to the two charges in Kingaroy District Court on August 19.
The complainant, 14 became known to Faulkner when he met her through an acquaintance before becoming Facebook friends and beginning to talk on Facebook.
The first charge, using a carriage service to groom someone under the age of 16, involved a series of communications between Faulkner and the child over Facebook messenger, principally on April 30, 2019 and May 19, 2019.
Those conversations showed Faulkner engage the child in sexualised conversation, sending her sexualised content and that those communications were sent in efforts to build an ongoing sexual relationship with her.
Faulkner suggested among other things, the possibility of teaching the child about sexual activity, encouraging the idea of secret activity and expressing the desirability of the two of you meeting again in person.
The totality of the communications show Faulkner messaging the child with the intention of making it easier to procure her to engage in sexual activity with him.
The offending which constitutes count 2 involves one occasion where Faulkner requested a photo of the child in a sexual pose.
The solicitation was not expressed, however, it was apparent from the communications that surrounded it that it did, in fact, involve solicitation.
The offending only stopped following the complainant’s mother reviewing her phone and seeing the messages, taking it to police and the police executing a search warrant at Faulkner’s home and seizing a Samsung tablet.
Her honour judge Nicole Kefford said Faulkner was taken to the police station, participating in an interview where he made partial admissions, but sought to minimise the extent of the offending.
“I am to bear in mind when sentencing you that this is an increasingly prevalent type of offending with internet and electronic communications making it easier for the offending to occur and for it to occur in secret and for the detection of the offending to be more readily avoided,” Judge Kefford said.
“Your offending has had consequences. I have been provided with a victim impact statement from the child in question and the mother of the child that speaks of the emotional impact, particularly, that this has had on the child.
“The period of communications was slightly over three weeks. They were intended by you to make it easier to procure the child to engage in sexual activity with you.
“You persisted in your communications even after the child confirmed that she was just 14 years of age when you had initially perhaps thought that she was older than that, having met her.”
Faulkner was convicted and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment in relation to charge one and convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment in relation to charge two, however was ordered to be released immediately once signing a recognisance requiring him to be of good behaviour for a period of 18 months.
The recognisance will be in the sum of $2000.
“You have no contact, direct or indirect, with the complainant. You will be required, during a period of 18 months, to be subject to the supervision of a probation officer, obey all their reasonable directions, and not travel interstate or overseas without receiving their prior written permission,” Judge Kefford said.
“You will have to undertake such treatment or rehabilitation programs that the probation officer reasonably directs, and otherwise comply with their directions.
“The purpose of the order is to enable you to be released earlier than the full length of your sentence and to provide you with the opportunity to carry out your punishment within the community.”