Online child predator jailed for preying on teens

HIGH on methylamphetamines, Mackay man Joel Douglas Jorgensen drove to the neighbourhood of a teenage girl he had been sending explicit messages to on Snapchat and tried to get her into his car.

Jorgensen had been talking with the girl on the social media platform in October 2019, and had told her he wanted to engage in sexual acts with her before sending her a photo of his penis.

The 31 year old had then contacted the girl's 13-year-old friend, and sent her a photo of his penis.

Before these offences, Jorgensen had also sent a photo of his genitalia to a 14-year-old girl online.

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Jorgensen's defence barrister Scott McLennan said, despite the "predatory" behaviour, his client had denied having any sexual interest in children, and had been trying his luck with women and teenagers online without discrimination towards age.

"He hasn't deliberately set about just targeting teenagers," Mr McLennan said.

"He told me he is disgusted in himself."

Jorgensen was also sentenced for breaking into a stranger's home in September 2019, stealing food and $20 cash, and causing $2500 worth of damage.

Crown prosecutor Amanda Payne said Jorgensen's offending was "persistent and predatory".

He began using marijuana as a teenager and became addicted to methylamphetamine in 2012.

After kicking the habit, he again fell into drug use in 2014.

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"He was intoxicated on drugs when he was texting the complainants," Mr McLennan said.

"He was devastated by this arrest … and relapsed.

"He cleared through his savings and lost his (permanent job in the mines)."

Jorgensen pleaded guilty at Mackay District Court on Wednesday to three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16, three counts of using electronic communication to procure a child under 16, burglary and stealing, and wilful damage.

"The victims have been adversely affected by your offending," Judge Tony Moynihan said.

Jorgensen was sentenced to two-and-a-half years jail.

He has already served 240 days and will be eligible to apply for parole on August 20 this year.

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