Wednesday September 4 2013
– A nine-year-old girl in England has become the youngest victim of sex crimes committed in Australia by an offender using the internet.
Farhad Billimoria, 56, used Skype “chat logs” to send the girl indecent communications over about a four-week period from his Box Hill home in 2012.
Melbourne’s County Court heard Billimoria had sexually explicit conversations with the girl and encouraged and participated in sexual activity via a webcam.
Billimoria, a former chef, pleaded guilty to charges of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications to a person under 16 and to engaging in sexual activity with a person under 16 while using a carriage service.
Judge Wendy Wilmoth said in jailing him on Tuesday that the prosecution had told her there had been no victim of such offences as young as the girl in Billimoria’s case.
Prosecutor Stephen Young said the Victoria Police Sexual Crimes Squad had received information from police in the UK that a girl, aged nine, had been identified as having received indecent communications from an Australian internet account.
Mr Young said Billimoria claimed he had befriended the girl after he found her in an adult “chat room”, had asked her to leave, and thought she was a “troubled kid” and wanted to help her.
Mr Young said investigators later conducted thorough analysis of the hard drive, which revealed Billimoria was the “main instigator” of the sexualised conversations.
In sentencing, Judge Wilmoth said the girl’s mother wrote in a victim impact statement that she feared her daughter may suffer when she is older.
Judge Wilmoth said the offences devastated Billimoria’s mother, who had returned to India after nine years in Australia, while his brother had testified to Billimoria’s remorse and shame after a previously blameless life.
He was jailed for three years, with a minimum of 12 months, after which he will undertake a sex offenders treatment program.
– Steve Butcher