A former Fraser Coast youth football club coach has avoided a conviction after he sent lewd pictures to an online group chat.
A former Fraser Coast youth football club coach has avoided a conviction after he sent lewd pictures to an online group chat. Contributed

High price for former Coast youth football coach's rude pics

A FORMER youth football club coach has avoided a conviction after he sent lewd pictures to an online group chat that included children.

Mark Micklewright, 49, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday to two charges of using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.

The Torbanlea man sent an image of an X-ray of a groin area with what appeared to be a fake penis on it.

On another occasion he sent a video of a man with oversized genitalia to an online chat which included members of a Fraser Coast football club's committee and some children.

A 15-year-old girl was among those who saw the images.

Micklewright's counsel said this was out of character as he had no criminal history.

"He has been heavily involved in football training all his adult life, he used to be a player himself," counsel said.

"He somewhat carelessly on two occasions sent the image and the video. The group chat he sent it to was set up by officials for (a youth) team and the open men's team.

"He was not targeting any particular child in the matter. His plea accepts it was immature and grossly reckless."

The court heard Micklewright had started a new Facebook account which no one under the age of 18 was able to access, resigned from the football club and apologised to the parents of the children involved.

Micklewright was originally charged with two counts of indecent treatment of a child but the charges were changed after being reviewed by a higher court. His counsel said he had suffered community backlash over the stigma associated with the initial charges.

Magistrate Stephen Guttridge sentenced Micklewright to a $1000 good behaviour bond for 12 months. No conviction was recorded.



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