Police bust man expecting sexual rendezvous with teen girl

IT WAS when officers arrived at a 50-year-old Tivoli man's door when he was expecting a sexual rendezvous with a teenage girl that an undercover police operation came to light.

Police posed as a 14-year-old girl on dating app Meet Me in late 2015 when officers were involved in a conversation of a sexual nature with Keith John Mobbs.

Mobbs asked the fictitious girl, through text messages, for images nine times and sent multiple other requests for sexual acts.

The fictitious girl asked him "are you sure you don't mind me being 14" before they arranged to meet at Mobbs' house in January.

Police arrived instead and Mobbs made admissions to sending the messages.

He sat in the docks in Ipswich District Court yesterday with his head hung as the sexually explicit and graphic messages were read out to the court.

The court heard Mobbs did not take his walking stick, that he usually relied on, to court as he was concerned about being able to take it into custody with him.

Defence lawyer Jessica Howe said Mobbs "wished he had stopped" when he became aware of the girl's age.

"He can't believe he did it," she told the court.

Ms Howe said Mobbs' online dating profile was unsuccessful in attracting interest from other people.

"The victim was one of the few if not only to respond to the profile and express interest in him," she said.

"He wasn't able to make sensible decisions about what to do with it."

Ms Howe said Mobbs was in a new relationship that was "positive and age appropriate" and lived with his partner in Toowoomba.

"She reports he is loving, kind and respectful," she said.

A report tendered to the court revealed Mobbs was "not someone who expressed sexual attraction to children".

Mobbs pleaded guilty to one count each of grooming a child under 16 with intent to expose to indecent matter and grooming a child under 16 with intent to procure engagement in a sexual act.

Judge Dennis Lynch sentenced Mobbs to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years and two years probation.


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