THE co-creator of sexually degrading Facebook page “Bendaz Root Rate” has avoided jail on appeal.
David McRory, 22 of Kangaroo Flat, originally received four months’ jail on charges of using a carriage service to offend and publishing objectionable material online, but appealed the sentence to the County Court yesterday and was instead placed on three community corrections orders.
Judge Jane Patrick said she had re-sentenced McRory partially for punishment parity with his brother, who had also set up the page, and was sentenced to a CCO on appeal in the County Court last month.
Prosecuting, Peter Jones said McRory and his brother Josh Turner had set up the “Bendaz Root Rate” Facebook page on
June 1 last year, inviting friends to rate their past sexual partners, “for a laugh”.
“They received hundreds of comments and posted them on the wall of the site,” Mr Jones said. “The content was available for anyone to view.”
Mr Jones said police were contacted by a girl on June 2 who had a sexually degrading message posted about her on the Facebook site.
McRory told police in a subsequent interview that he did not read any of the messages before he posted them on the wall and because there were so many he wasn’t sure if it was him or his brother who posted the offensive comment.
McRory’s lawyer Duncan Robertson admitted his client’s behaviour had been “disgraceful, abhorrent and immature”.
But Mr Robertson said McRory had maturity “thrust upon him” after his son was born with a very complicated medical condition.
The court heard McRory’s partner was now pregnant with their second child.
“He wants to be a family man and pull himself up by the bootstraps,” Mr Robertson said of his client.
Judge Patrick said the Facebook page spoke “very badly”, not just of its creators but of all of those who submitted comments.
“I take it most of the comments were from men about women,” she said. “It’s shameful men think they can do this. It shows a complete lack of respect.
“I hope this case and the surrounding publicity will discourage anybody else from doing something like this.”
But Judge Patrick said she was prepared to take into account McRory’s personal circumstances and his plea of guilty.
She sentenced him to an 18-month CCO on each charge with 120 hours of unpaid community work to be served concurrently.
The CCOs include 12 months of supervision and treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol and mental health.
McRory also appealed a four-month sentence imposed for two charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The court heard McRory had twice left Bendigo hotels without paying early last year.
Judge Patrick re-sentenced McRory to a six-month CCO with 20 hours of unpaid community work on these charges. The hours were made cumulative with those for the Facebook charges.