Teacher poses as teen girl to catfish older men
A TEACHER who pretended to be a 14-year-old girl to catfish older men into sending back dirty messages did so for his own sexual enjoyment, a court has heard.
Christopher James White, 41, was the head of the junior school at Bribie Island State High School when he assumed the online identity of a teenage girl named Amber on Facebook and began sending nude and scantily clad photos of his alter ego to men.
The father of two young girls told the men about Amber's fantasies of being "raped in a jacuzzi" and losing her virginity to a teacher at school, the court heard.
"It was quite clear he was fantasising about this child and getting off … on the men's reactions to the sexualised context and conversations," Prosecutor Michael Gawrych said.
The Bongaree teacher, who has since stood down, pleaded guilty to five charges of distributing child exploitation material and one charge of possessing child exploitation material in Brisbane District Court today.
The court heard the offending took place between October 2018 and January 2019 and White sourced the sexually explicit images from Google and Instagram.
The teacher's spectacular fall from grace was detailed by his defence barrister Kate Juhasz who said before being charged in January, White had a successful career, supportive family and no history on the wrong side of the law.
Ms Juhasz said White did not "fit the sex offender profile" and the harm done was lessened because he was the one receiving the lewd messages back from the men.
"In relation to the chats themselves, while the content is explicit he is the girl, so the harm is being suffered by … (him)," she said.
She said White had been cooperative and had even used the online account to help police charge two men.
Judge Craig Chowdhury described the nature of the offending as serious and "really quite bizarre".
"This court deals with distribution of child pornography … day in and day out, but this takes this type of offending to a completely bizarre level," he said.
In sentencing, Judge Chowdhury agreed with Ms Juhasz that White's case was quite different to other child pornography cases.
"You seemed to have got some gratification from pretending to be a 14-year-old girl wanting to be sexually abused by other men. It is really concerning," he said.
Judge Chowdhury sentenced White to 18 months' jail, to be wholly suspended for two years.