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Pedophile Ring Born On Internet

Chance meetings on an Internet website led to the establishment of a Brisbane-based pedophile ring where young boys were recruited as sexual partners for men, including a former interstate school principal, the Brisbane District Court heard yesterday.
One of the main instigators yesterday pleaded guilty to 24 sexual offences against four young boys between December 1996 and October 2002.
Meanwhile, former teacher Gary John Paul, 55, of Newcastle, pleaded guilty to 12 sexual offences against one victim in 2002.
Two other men, a 30-year-old Victorian also considered a ringleader and a 25-year-old, previously pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to numerous sex offences and were sentenced to eight years' and seven years' jail respectively for their roles in the pedophile ring.
These men cannot be named to protect the identity of their victims.
Crown Prosecutor Paul Smith yesterday said the men met on an Internet chat site designed for men with a sexual preference for young boys, and formed friendships that led two members to travel to Queensland.
Mr Smith told the court the ringleader, a 28-year-old former Australia Post mail sorter, had a four-year sexual relationship with his younger stepbrother, and helped recruit other young boys as victims for himself and the other three men. He said the victims were abused on camping trips and joint outings between the men, and the abuse included fondling, oral sex, masturbation and sodomy.
Videos were taken of some victims, and pornographic images were found on a computer owned by the 28-year-old man.
Mr Smith said regular Sunday debriefings were held by the main offenders to discuss their sex lives and the abuse of the victims, who were aged between 10 and 15 years at the time.
Mr Smith said Paul met the 30-year-old ringleader on the Internet in late 2001, formed a friendship and, in late 2002, made the first of several trips to Queensland, where he formed a sexual relationship with a boy, 12.
The court heard Paul visited Queensland on several occasions to continue the relationship with the boy, which mainly involved oral sex.
Mr Smith said the group was uncovered thanks to an anonymous tip-off which led to searches of the 28-year-old ringleader's home and discovery of the other offenders. He said good police work also enabled the victims to be identified and found.
Defence barrister Jim Farmer, acting on behalf of the 28-year-old man, said the man had the support of his family, no previous convictions, a good work history and had co-operated fully with police.
Mr Farmer said Paul, a house-painter for the past seven years, was "extremely remorseful" for his actions.
The court heard he was a father of two adult children, had suffered a nervous breakdown due to his wife's long-term mental illness and their subsequent divorce, and had the support of family and friends who had supplied references for the court.
Judge Ian Wylie, QC, sentenced Paul to four years' jail to be suspended after 16 months, but reserved his decision on the 28-year-old man until Friday.

AAP (23-6-2005)
Leanne Edmistone

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Leader Of Paedophile Ring Jailed

THE leader of a Brisbane-based pedophile ring who abused four young boys was yesterday sentenced in the Brisbane District Court to nine years' jail.
The 28-year-old former Australia Post worker pleaded guilty earlier this week to 24 charges, including sodomy, maintaining a sexual relationship with a child, permitting himself to be indecently dealt with by a child and possessing objectionable computer games.
The court heard the pedophile ring was established after chance meetings on an Internet website called ****, designed for men with a sexual preference for young boys, led to friendships between up to four men.
It heard the ringleader had a four-year sexual relationship with his younger step-brother which started when the victim was 10, and helped recruit other young boys as victims for himself and the other men.
The court also heard the victims were abused on camping trips and joint outings between the men, and the abuse included fondling, oral sex, masturbation and sodomy.
Regular Sunday night debriefing sessions were held by the 28-year-old and another group member.
Judge Ian Wylie, QC, yesterday described the offences as "abhorrent" and "repugnant", a view he said would held by the majority of the community whom he had the duty to protect, and deserving of severe punishment. He sentenced the man, who cannot be named to protect his victims, to nine years' jail with a recommendation for parole after serving 3 years.
Yesterday's proceedings follow the sentencing of co-offenders Gary John Paul, 55, of Newcastle, who pleaded guilty to 12 sex offences against one child, to four years' jail to be suspended after serving 16 months earlier this week.
Two other men, a 30-year-old Victorian also considered a ringleader and a 25-year-old, separately pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to numerous sex offences earlier this year and were sentenced to eight years and seven years' jail respectively.

Herald Sun (25-6-2005)
Leanne Edmistone





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