News

Foster dad killed trust of teenage girl with nude pictures

A ROCKHAMPTON region carer has lost his position of trust after he decided it was okay to take photographs of his naked foster daughter and her friend.

The 65-year-old man, who can't be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court on Friday to three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 years of age and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

The defendant and his wife became certified carers about four years ago.

Following that certification, the defendant and his wife took into their care a teenage girl.

In his summary, Judge Paul Smith said sometime between May and August last year, the man and his wife took their former foster daughter (who was 11 years old then) on a camping trip to Cape Palmerston, about 275km north of Rockhampton.

Accompanying them was his former foster daughter's friend (who was 14 years old at the time) and her parents.

Judge Smith said the defendant, his former foster daughter and her friend left their campsite and embarked on a bushwalk.

The court heard that during the trek the defendant took a photo of the foster girl and her friend, while the pair was naked and embracing each other.

A little while later, the defendant had a photo taken of his former foster daughter and himself while he was naked.

The court heard the teenager sat on the defendant's lap wearing only a bikini bottom.

Judge Smith said it was the former foster child who suggested taking the photos.

To this suggestion the defendant thought it was a "nice" idea and there was no harm in it.

However, the court heard the defendant told his former foster child's friend not to tell anyone about it.

In April of this year police conducted a search of the defendant's home after the foster daughter's friend made an official complaint to the police.

There they found the camera containing the images of the naked man and girls.

The defendant, who has since been stripped of his blue card (which allows people to work with young children), was remorseful for his actions.

The court heard the defendant never touched the pair in a sexual manner, nor did he possess any other child exploitation material.

Judge Smith described his work history as excellent.

Recent events involving the defendant's wife's health, plus other factors, persuaded Judge Smith to issue a wholly suspended sentence. Judge Smith sentenced the defendant to 12 months' imprisonment and two years' probation. He was released on parole.

Topics:  child exploitation material, foster care, rockhampton district court



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