James John Bourke, 38, faced the District Court in Mackay pleading guilty to using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material. Bourke has since moved from Mackay to Gympie.
James John Bourke, 38, faced the District Court in Mackay pleading guilty to using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material. Bourke has since moved from Mackay to Gympie. MaxPixel's contributors

Man, 38, texted woman about sex with her daughter, 13

A 38-YEAR-OLD man who spoke about involving the 13-year-old daughter of a woman he'd met online in their sexual escapades inadvertently turned himself in to police.

James John Bourke was seemingly trying to get revenge on the mother after their relationship broke down - despite his own mobile phone containing proof he had instigated the explicit and illegal messaging over Kik, iPhone messenger and other chat software.

Bourke told police he was concerned about the teenager's welfare, but officers were easily able to find the incriminating messages on his smartphone, and Bourke was subsequently charged.

He faced the District Court in Mackay yesterday, pleading guilty to using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material, in what Judge Paul Smith described as a "very bizarre case".

Crown prosecutor Chris Moore told the court Bourke's offending occurred over a number of months in 2016, after he met the woman while using an online dating service.

"Located on the defendant's mobile telephone were a substantial number of messages of an explicit nature. During the course of a number of conversations over a six-month period, the defendant and this woman spoke about including the woman's 13-year-old daughter in their sexual activities," Mr Moore said.

"From the messages it appears as though the defendant was the one who raised this idea. He spoke in explicit detail about how to introduce the child to their sexual acts, including discussions about giving her alcohol and cannabis.

"He also spoke about showing the child a video of him and her mother engaged in sexual acts, or of having sexual intercourse in front of the child. They spoke in detail about what the defendant wanted to do to the child and have the woman do to the child and have the child do to him."

Mr Moore noted no actual sexual contact occurred, despite Bourke having physical access to the girl, and it was accepted the discussion did not extend beyond fantasy.

" ... but it's a case where there's an actual known child he's met in the past," Mr Moore continued.

"Your honour, after the relationship had ended, the defendant attended the Mackay Police Station. He told them he held concerns for the child. He gave them his mobile phone and they examined his device."

Judge Smith said that was "pretty foolish on his part".

Mr Moore added Bourke - who claimed to be "pandering to the woman to obtain evidence he could take to police" - had spoken over text about becoming aroused when he saw "the child in a school uniform".

Defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, of Fisher Dore Lawyers, described Bourke, a father of one, as having a good work history in retail and as a charity office volunteer with the Rural Fire Service.

Ms Hartigan said the messages between Bourke and the woman were purely fantasy and emphasised the girl, who underwent a police interview, was not physically violated.

Further, Ms Hartigan said her client should not face a significantly different penalty to the mother, who was previously sentenced for distributing child exploitation material.

The woman (who is not named to protect the identity of her daughter) was placed on probation for 12 months, with no conviction recorded.

The girl has been taken out of the woman's care.

Judge Smith took into account Bourke's early plea, previous good character and various other factors, including that the "disgusting" messages about the girl weren't distributed on a wider basis.

Bourke, who's moved from Mackay to Gympie, was placed on probation for 18 months.

No conviction was recorded.



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