SNAPCHAT messages which asked a teenage boy to show off his body and send a "d*** pic" have landed a Tamworth man in jail for child abuse.
Toby James Woods, 29, was sentenced in Tamworth District Court after pleading guilty to Commonwealth offences of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, and possessing child abuse material.
He also faced the state offence of failing to comply with reporting obligations earlier imposed on him, after he didn't disclose that he had contact with the 15-year-old boy.
Judge Andrew Coleman said deterrence was paramount because Woods had been sentenced for child abuse-related offences before and the community expected to be protected from such "predatory actions".
Woods was hit with a year behind bars for the state offence, and a total of four years behind bars on top of that for the Commonwealth offences.
The court heard Woods, 27 at the time, reached out to the 15-year-old boy after meeting him in 2020.
In May 2021, he sent the young victim a Snapchat asking him to go to the bathroom and lift up his shirt.
That same month Woods sent a Snapchat with words to the effect of requesting a "d*** pic".
The teenager replied words to the effect of: "No, I don't send pictures like that to people like you", and "I'm only 15 years old".
The victim received further messages and opened them in front of people, including his mother.
One person there at the time took photos of the messages as the teenager opened them.
"I will not repeat the entirety of the messages which are contained in the facts," Judge Coleman said.
The court heard Woods sent another message later saying sorry for what he asked and that it wouldn't happen again.
The possession of child abuse material charge came after Woods' phone was inspected and files found were categorised.
"The offender was not part of a sophisticated group ... responsible for the creation of the material," Judge Coleman said.
"Rather he was in possession of the material and did not disseminate it."
Judge Coleman said no threats had been made to the victim and no material benefit had been offered to him.
Both the Crown and defence had earlier tendered written submissions to the court for sentencing.
A specialist report had been handed up, revealing Woods' complex medical history and the trauma he had suffered through, which Judge Coleman said was relevant to his moral culpability.
The court heard Woods had made some "minimisations" about his offending including that sending photos is not as problematic as meeting up with children.
Judge Coleman said that was concerning, and he found Woods' prospects of rehabilitation were guarded at best.
The court heard Woods had in the past struggled with his alcohol consumption, and in 2020 was also using drugs, including painkillers and heroin, to cope.
Judge Coleman said the sentencing task was complex as he had to balance the offending and the need for community protection from this "abhorrent behaviour" against Woods' subjective factors.
"I have come to the view that no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate," Judge Coleman said of the state charge. The Commonwealth charges came with a mandatory minimum sentence.
A successful forfeiture order was made without opposition, meaning an Apple iPhone 12 had to be handed over to the Crown for destruction.
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