A man who sent sexually explicit messages to a 10-year-old girl and had almost 300 images and videos of child exploitation will spend the next six months in prison.
Jamie Underwood, 49, was sentenced in the County Court in Bendigo on Friday after pleading guilty to using a carriage service to transmit child exploitation material, using a carriage service to cause such material to be transmitted, using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 for sexual activity, using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications to a person under 16, and knowingly possessing child exploitation material.
In November 2017, the Kyabram resident began communicating via SMS and MMS with a girl who said she was 14 years old.
Underwood sent an image of a penis and received explicit photos of a prepubescent girl.
In one message, Underwood told the girl he would kiss all over her body if she was with him.
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He also masturbated during a video call with her.
The girl was actually 10 years old and living in the United States.
The communication was discovered by the girl's mother, who contacted police.
Then in June last year, Underwood began communicating with a girl who said she was 14.
Underwood told her a girl had watched him masturbate and it would be "nice" to find someone else to do that with again.
The following month, police raided his home and seized two phones and a computer.
On them they found 293 files of child exploitation material, some images of girls as young as three.
Underwood was cooperative with police and admitted he sent 15 to 20 images of child abuse to others.
He later told a psychologist he became involved with such material because he wanted to understand how paedophiles thought, and believed the identities of those with whom he was communicating were not real.
Underwood denied the material aroused him.
In sentencing, Judge Michael Cahill said Underwood's prospects of rehabilitation were relatively good, if he engaged in offending programs.
The offending had also cost Underwood his job, he said.
Judge Cahill said a term of imprisonment was the only suitable sentence, although moderated the sentence because of factors including Underwood's guilty plea, his cooperation and disclosures to police and his bail conditions.
He sentenced Underwood to 12 months' imprisonment and ordered he be released after six months, with a condition to be on good behaviour for the following year.
Underwood must also undertake sex offender programs and will be on the sex offender register for life.
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