The Gympie online predator who targeted teens and tweens
A DANGEROUS and psychopathic online sex offender who groomed and exploited six children aged between 12 and 14 while living in Gympie has been released from prison.
The 25-year-old man, identified only as “SDWH”, had been behind bars since October 2016, after being found guilty of more than 40 offences between April and September that year.
These included 24 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16, five counts of using a carriage service to solicit pornography, four counts of distributing child exploitation material and four counts of grooming a child under 16.
He was on bail at the time of these crimes and living in Gympie or on the Sunshine Coast.
The victims were from as close as Maryborough and as far away as Albany, Western Australia.
One of the children, a girl from Ipswich, met the man through friends from Gympie.
He routinely contacted them through social media, sending some of them pictures of his penis, videos of himself masturbating, and indecent messages.
In return some of the children sent him sexualised pictures of themselves in various states of undress.
These were not his first sexual crimes.
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In June 2016, he was convicted of more than 36 charges, including 11 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 using images and one charge of carnal knowledge with a child under 16.
These crimes were committed between January and August 2014.
He also had a criminal history of drug offences.
A report submitted to the court said the 25-year-old “opines that he has outstanding treatment needs in relation to the areas of sexual deviant interest, impulsivity and poor problem solving”.
Reports submitted to the court by Dr Michael Beech stated the 25-year-old was a “sexually preoccupied young man who preyed on female minors to meet his sexual needs”.
“He is a manipulative person who attempted to groom victims and, on occasions, sought to threaten or intimidate them,” Dr Beech said, going on to add he had “anti-social and psychopathic traits”.
The man’s risk of reoffending without a supervision order was high, Dr Beech said, and he would need ongoing supervision, monitoring, and his use of social media had to be restricted.
The State’s Attorney General initially told the court the risk the man posed to the community could not be reasonably managed by a supervision order and asked he remain in jail.
This position was subsequently abandoned by the State in another submission to the court a week later. It accepted the risk to the community could be managed with strict restrictions in place.
These included restrictions on his social media use, contact with girls under 16 years-of-age, individual counselling and alcohol and drug testing.
He will be under supervision for the next decade.