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Sex fiend ‘pretended to be young girl’

Lachlan James Afflick leaves the Townsville Magistrates Court
Lachlan James Afflick leaves the Townsville Magistrates Court

A LAWYER has argued a man who groomed children online and traded child exploitation material should avoid jail.

Lachlan James Afflick, 24, pleaded guilty in Townsville District Court yesterday to five child exploitation material (CEM) charges and two of using electronic communications in attempt to procure a child.

Crown prosecutor Jodie Crane said Afflick used video chat site Omegle to speak to others, specifying that he liked "hardcore", "underage" and "young" pornography.

Afflick would then move the conversations to messenger app Kik and trade CEM with users. He once pretended to be a 12-year-old girl.

Afflick transmitted 158 images
Afflick transmitted 158 images

Over 12 days, from July 8-20 in 2015, Afflick transmitted 158 images. Of those, four were category five images - the most serious type of CEM. He also received several photos.

On July 13, 2015, Afflick had a conversation with a girl from the US, who said she was 14.

Ms Crane said the chat became sexual and Afflick sent a photo of his genitalia.

The next day, he spoke to a nine-year-old boy, asking him to send an explicit photo.

"After no reply, the defendant persisted, (asking) 'Is that OK?'," she said.

Police searched Afflick's Townsville home and found 358 CEM photos on three different phones.

 

Ms Crane submitted for a sentence of up to three years, with actual time in jail.

"The offending is not victimless because those who commit this type of crime allow this type of exploitation of children to continue," she said.

Defence barrister Anthony Collins said Afflick should avoid jail due to his "special circumstances".

He said Afflick was from ­Sarina, schooled in Mackay and completed an apprenticeship before moving to Townsville, "where things didn't work out".

"He was living with his girlfriend, she was the sole breadwinner. His life was falling apart, he felt completely worthless," he said.

He once pretended to be a 12-year-old girl.
He once pretended to be a 12-year-old girl.

Mr Collins said Afflick's parents supported him in court.

He said the crimes were over a short period of time and Afflick had since completed a rehabilitation course.

"On his return to Mackay, these matters became common knowledge through social media and he's found that he has been shunned by former friends," Mr Collins said.

"I can hardly imagine a greater deterrent than the ­effect it's had on his life since he returned to Mackay, to be a social outcast."

Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien adjourned the sentence to ­tomorrow morning.

Topics:  child abuse child exploitation editors picks townsville



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