Dad encouraged 'teen girl' to share explicit photos with him

WHEN a father of four sent what he believed was a 13-year-old girl explicit photos of himself and encouraged her to reciprocate, he didn't realise who was watching.

Using his mobile phone, the man signalled his interest in meeting the teen.

The-then 27-year-old Ipswich man got a nasty shock when police knocked on his door.

The girl was not in fact aged 13 as he believed, but was a mature-aged police officer posing as a vulnerable child.

Andrew Brett Yarrow, 28, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to two counts of using the internet to procure a child under 16 in October 2017 and January 2018.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis said he used the electronic communications to procure the girl to engage in sexual acts, believing she was aged only 13.

He said Yarrow had been free on bail since being charged in April 2018.

Mr Wallis said Yarrow was caught up in a covert police operation.

He said the flavour of the communications showed Yarrow's behaviour escalated when he asked inappropriate questions and sent indecent images of himself and instructions on performing a sexual act.

Mr Wallis told the court the girl told him she was only 13, but he continued in his "nefarious adventure".

Yarrow lied about his own age, initially claiming to be 15, then 19.

He also sent instructions on how to delete their conversation, with Mr Wallis saying this showed Yarrow knew what he was doing was wrong.

"It was persistent. It was predatory," Mr Wallis said.

Defence barrister Jessica Goldie said Yarrow had received medical advice that he had a mild intellectual disability.

"He has made a conscious effort to stop using drugs," she said.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said Yarrow, in his own words, described himself as "being fried on amphetamine and off his face" at the time of his offending.

Acknowledging there was no actual child victim, Judge Horneman-Wren said he did engage in his communications believing she was aged only 13.

Yarrow was sentenced to separate terms of 18 months' jail, and three months' jail.

He will serve three months before being released to a supervised probation order of three years.

Fund to support uni students through COVID hits $50,000

Premium Content Fund to support uni students through COVID hits $50,000

The money was raised via contributions from staff and the wider community over the...

Offender drove straight at police at night with lights off

Premium Content Offender drove straight at police at night with lights off

Police went after the speeding driver but when a patrol crew caught up with him...

Man in critical condition after being hit in head by log

Premium Content Man in critical condition after being hit in head by log

He was rushed to hospital after an incident on a private property this afternoon