‘Lucy’ lures online child sex predator into police trap

AN IPSWICH court has heard how a hunter became the hunted, when skilful undercover cops posed as a 13-year-old girl online to catch an offender red handed.

Lucy, supposedly a 13-year-old girl, was the bait for married, clean-cut professional Iman Ahmadi, whose behaviour was blamed on deep-seated childhood issues of his own.

Ipswich District Court on Thursday heard Ahmadi sent photos of himself with his pubic hair exposed, giving instructions for "Lucy" to masturbate.

The Crown prosecution case stated Ahmadi's communications with the child over five weeks were overtly sexualised, including discussions of oral, vaginal and anal sex.

Ahmadi, 34, a graphic designer, appeared in the dock for sentence, pleading guilty to attempting to procure a child he believed was under 16 to engage in a sexual act at Karalee between December 7, 2019 and January 15, 2020.

Crown prosecutor Amanda Robinson said in the 40 days Ahmadi communicated with Lucy, a child he believed to be aged just 13, he sent pornography, instructed her to masturbate, and sent sexualised selfies.

Ms Robinson said it was Ahmadi who stopped communicating with the child, saying he could not entertain sexual intercourse with a minor.

He later made full admissions.

Defence barrister Justin Thomas, who appeared by phone, sought for no actual jail time to be served, saying exceptional circumstances existed as outlined in written submission to Judge Dennis Lynch QC.

Mr Thomas said Iranian-born Ahmadi had no criminal history, was a very intelligent man, and the criminal charge had been a catalyst for him to get assistance with long term underlying "addiction" issues.

Psychological reports were also before the court.

"He desisted in his offending on his own volition. To serve prison time would be counter-productive," Mr Thomas said.

Judge Lynch said Ahmadi's communications with Lucy were "grossly sexual in nature".

He said it was acknowledged Ahmadi voluntarily ended his communications with the fictitious child.

The court heard Ahmadi was born in Tehran and arrived in Australia in 2007.

Judge Lynch said Ahmadi was undergoing counselling for his addiction to pornography, which was found to be "a maladaptive coping mechanism" to anxiety, a complex post-traumatic injury, and issues from childhood.

He said he accepted medical opinion that Ahmadi was not sexually attracted to children.

Ahmadi was sentenced to an 18-month jail term, wholly suspended for two years.