A WARIALDA man who used the internet to try and procure underage children for sex will serve at least five-and-a-half years in jail.
Thomas Morris, 29, was last Friday sentenced by Judge John Nicholson in Parramatta District Court to nine years and two months’ jail, with a non-parole period of five-and-a-half years.
Morris had been charged with three counts of use carriage service to procure a person under the age of 16 for sex; eight counts of using a carriage service for child pornography material; nine counts of use carriage service to menace/harass/offend; use carriage service to threaten serious harm; possess prohibited drug; and seven counts of produce, disseminate or possess child abuse material – 29 offences in all.
Inverell police Detective Senior Constable Jo Ireland said Morris’ jail sentence was a “fantastic” outcome for the investigation and the longest in Commonwealth history for that type of crime.
She said the sentence would set a precedent that could help future victims of offences of that nature.
“Young kids think this (using the internet or a mobile phone to harass others) is a joke. It’s not a joke,” Detective Senior Constable Ireland said.
She said the offences occurred between 2009 and early February this year, when Morris was arrested in Warialda, and that many witnesses had come forward to give evidence into the case.