Dad groomed ‘13yo’ undercover cop by pretending to be teen
A ROCKHAMPTON father used the messaging app Kik to groom a 13-year-old boy, sending him a photo of his genitals, only to find out he'd been communicating with an undercover police officer.
Brett Lee Beveridge, 37, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on November 9 to one count of grooming a child under 16 years with intent to expose to indecent matter.
Crown prosecutor Ryan Godfrey said Beveridge, while pretending to be a 15-year-old boy from Brisbane, messaged a person he believed to be a 13-year-old boy on March 9, 2019, using the messaging app Kik.
Mr Godfrey said the 13-year-old boy was an undercover police officer.
After general conversations, Beveridge turned to the topic of sharing videos and pictures, to which the "boy" said he had previously been in trouble from his parents for sharing a picture with a friend.
Beveridge talked to the "boy" about being gay and that he had masturbated with a friend when he was 12 years old.
They exchanged non-sexual photographs of juvenile males.
Following conversations about whether the "boy" was circumcised or not, and what made his genitals erect and his experience with masturbation, Beveridge offered to send the "boy" a picture of himself naked and asked if he wished for him to do so.
The "boy" replied "Sure" and Beveridge sent a photo of male genitalia.
The "boy" did not respond after receiving the photo.
The court heard Beveridge did not push for the "boy" to send any photos or videos and the offending occurred during a time where he was experiencing social isolation.
Mr Godfrey said police later executed a search warrant at Beveridge's home, where his mobile phone was seized.
The court heard Beveridge told police he had not spoken to anyone underage, nor was he interested in children.
Mr Godfrey said Beveridge had no criminal history and the offending had taken place over a period of about two days.
He said no actual child was affected by the conduct; however, Beveridge had intentionally sent indecent matter to a person he believed to be 13 years old.
He noted a report by a clinical psychologist, which suggested Beveridge was in a low risk level category of re-offending.
He said the report stated Beveridge was embarrassed and ashamed and concerned about the massive impact his offending would have on his family.
He said the report further stated Beveridge did not demonstrate any paedophiliac disorder or any other inappropriate sexual interests.
The part of the report he found concerning was Beveridge's "lack of remorse" towards his offending.
"I note the report suggests the defendant does appear to have a great deal of regret and shame; however, it appears this regret and shame is in relation to not the commission of the offence but his arrest and prosecution for it," he said.
Beveridge's defence lawyer said his client, who was married with two children, had recognised what he did was wrong and had gone to see someone about it soon after the offending.
He said his client had instructed he would be attending a sex offenders' program.
Judge Jeff Clarke encouraged Beveridge not to return to online communications.
"Log off and get a life," he said.
"Be a responsible father and member of the community."
Beveridge was sentenced to six months' prison, suspended for 18 months with a criminal conviction recorded.
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