Teen made nude image threats after break-up
THE broken-hearted former boyfriend of a 15-year-old school girl threatened to release nude photos of her when they broke up.
The youth, now aged 16, pleaded guilty in the District Court to one count of threatening the girl between February 1 and February 12 - to cause detriment to her to compel her to have contact with him.
In the Bundaberg Children's Court matter, Crown prosecutor Brendan White said the youth was 15 at the time of the offence and had no prior criminal history.
Mr White said the youth and the girl were in a relationship for three years when she decided to end it.
"He retained the images of her and he threatened to disseminate them. It is a serious matter that he threatened her this way," he said.
Mr White outlined to Judge Leanne Clare SC sentencing options for the young offender under the Youth Justice Act including the Restorative Justice Process.
He said it was an appropriate case to be dealt with that way.
The youth's legal counsel said the teenagers had both moved on from the relationship, and that this (break-up) seemed to be "the catalyst for this stupidity".
The youth had volunteered to police he had the photos on his phone.
Judge Clare said it would seem that the youth took the break-up badly and there had been an order in place not to contact her.
"But rather than leave her alone you didn't accept it and you kept calling her," she said.
Judge Clare said he ultimately said he would send naked photos of her to other people, and it was fortunate that he did not.
"Even the threat must have caused her distress," she said.
Judge Clare found he pleaded guilty at an early stage, had a supportive family, and was learning new skills in a new job that would keep him out of trouble.
"Domestic violence is a very big problem in our society," she said.
"Lives can be ruined as a result of that.
"The circumstances here raise issues of domestic violence.
"You are still very young, still trying to find your place in the world and plenty of lessons to learn.
"Having your heart broken is a fact of life.
"It happens to most people.
"People feel sad but we have to get on with it."
Judge Clare said that in lieu of sentencing she ordered the youth to report to Youth Justice and attend the Restorative Justice Process.
Restorative justice conferencing provides an opportunity for everybody involved to be heard about the impacts and consequences of the crime.
The child is required to admit to the offence and take responsibility for their actions and the harm they have caused.
It helps them gain an understanding of its impact on others and gain insight.
And gives the people most affected (victim) by an offence to be a part of the process of deciding how the child should make up for their behaviour.