City's worst sexual predator groomed 15 children

Craig Reginald Andrews, who appeared in court on sex charges, tricked two young girls into meeting with him for sex.
Craig Reginald Andrews, who appeared in court on sex charges, tricked two young girls into meeting with him for sex.

A TOOWOOMBA man had used Facebook to groom 15 children, two of whom he had ultimately raped, the city's District court has been told.

Craig Reginald Andrews, 49, had used a number of false Facebook identities including Tanika Smart, Mark Smith, Tim Addam and Jody Green to trick children between 11 and 16 into exchanging sexual photographs with him and to ultimately trick two young girls to meet with him for sex.

Andrews had used the false identities to obtain the trust of his victims, all of whom believed they were conversing with a real person.

At least three of the young girls had engaged in what they believed was a genuine relationship.

Through the false identities, Andrews had manipulated the young people into believing the person with whom they were in a relationship wanted them to have sex with Andrews.

The parents of a 12-year-old girl had known Andrews and trusted him having contact with her and she had stayed so often at his home that she had her own room, Crown prosecutor David Jones told the court.

She had thought she was in a genuine relationship with "Tim Addam" and Andrews had told her that if she didn't do what he wanted Tim would break up with her.

She later told police Andrews had raped her more than 100 times over a 12-month period, "literally every day and sometimes twice a day", Mr Jones said.

The girl's mother was in court and openly wept when hearing the evidence.

The other girl, who was 15 at the time, had been in a delicate time of her life and had been arguing with family and Andrews had offered her his home.

However, when she declined his requests for sex, he had fed her sleeping tablets and alcohol before having his way with her.

His emotional blackmail had no bounds and when the 12-year-old had threatened to break off the relationship with "Tim", Andrews had told her Tim had threatened suicide if she did.

When she eventually did break off the relationship, he told her Tim had committed suicide and she had tried to end her life as well.

Mr Jones said when asked why during a pre-trial hearing in court, the girl had said: " Because my world evolved around him (Tim). I used to wake up in the morning and I used to be on the phone with him every chance I got.

"Mum used to get mad because on my way to school I'd be talking to him and I never spent time with her.

"When he tried to commit suicide the first time, I didn't want to live any more."

Despicably, when the girl told Andrews about "Tim's suicide", he had feigned bursting into tears to further the manipulation of her.

"This is the length this man went to trick all these kids," Mr Jones told the court.

"The accused (Andrews)... proved himself to be the ultimate sexual predator and a master at manipulation."

A third girl would have also been subjected to Andrews' depravity but for the intervention of her father who, upon learning she was conversing with an older man, took her to police when the girl had agreed to meet with the pedophile.

Even then the girl and her father believed the man she met online to be 17, not knowing that he was actually in his mid-40s.

Andrews appeared in custody to plead guilty to 70 offences including rape and making and distributing child exploitation material.

Judge Richard Jones remanded Andrews in custody and adjourned sentence to next week.

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