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A question of justice
FRED Burdon became just the eighth person in the state's history
on Tuesday to be sentenced for attempting to procure a child over the internet after being snared by a police sting.
But, after walking out of the Brisbane District Court with a suspended
jail sentence and orders to complete community service, the former Noosa Chamber
of Commerce president and high-profile businessman should have been thankful he wasn't the first or second.
Court documents obtained by the Daily have revealed the first two
men sentenced for that offence both served time in jail. Brisbane
Matthew William Ross Kennings, 27, was jailed
in February last year for two-and-a-half years, suspended after nine months.
Mr Kennings had been arrested at his planned rendezvous with what
he believed was a 13-year-old girl at the Eternal Flame in Anzac Square
in downtown Brisbane in July 2003.
But his sentence was reduced on appeal in May after he had served three months and Mr Kennings
was immediately released.
The second man to be sentenced was
Cameron John Campbell, 25, also of Brisbane,
in August last year.Mr Campbell was jailed for 18 months, suspended after three months.
http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2005/03/10/scd-a-question-of-justice/ - (10-3-2005)
University student first to be sentenced over internet porn
A university graduate is facing jail under tough new Queensland laws aimed at catching pedophiles preying on children in internet chat rooms.
Matthew William Ross Kennings will be the first person sentenced under the laws next month after pleading guilty in the District Court in Brisbane yesterday.
The 26-year-old refugee centre volunteer was charged in July last year with intending to procure a person he believed to be under 16 years old to engage in a sexual act.
The new laws were introduced two months beforehand, with police and the state's Crime and Misconduct Commission setting up a joint operation to target offenders.
Kennings was caught after making contact with one of the officers who was posing as a 13-year-old girl using the name BeckyBoo13 in internet chatroom MSN Whisper.
Crown prosecutor Peter Feeney told the court today the unemployed arts and media studies graduate asked her if she was a virgin before arranging a meeting.
He said Kennings, using the names BluesDAMACDADDY and BrizGuy0001, also warned her against telling her mother his age.
Kennings was arrested after they arranged to meet at the eternal flame in Brisbane's Anzac Square.
Defence barrister Catherine Morgan told the court Kennings did not linger at the meeting point after feeling foolish about his actions.
He was stopped by investigators who found two pages of internet porn sites in his bag.
Police also discovered 110 pictures on a computer he was using which belonged to his sister and her husband.
Morgan said Kennings, who was meant to be looking for work, was suffering depression and now seeking help from a psychologist.
She said his family, long-term girlfriend and her family remained faithful.
In arguing against sending Kennings to jail, Ms Morgan said "cyberspace adultery" was rife in the community and Kennings' activities were down the scale of child sex offences.
She also said investigators, who sent Kennings a photo of former pop star Sophie Monk when he asked for a picture, were being provocative.
"This is an isolated incident in the life of an immature ... man who is suffering depression," Ms Morgan told the court.
Feeney argued for a three-year jail term, saying it was a serious example of a unique crime.
District Court Judge Brian Hoath will hand down his sentence on February 13 after a psychologist's report is completed.
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/15/1073877933063.html?from=storyrhs - (15-1-2004)
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