Bundaberg court house.
Bundaberg court house. Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT3

Convicted Bundy sex offender, father of six set for release

A CONVICTED sex offender will be released from prison in less than a week after pleading guilty to making child exploitation material of a 14-year-old girl.

Ashley Campbell Burke appeared before Judge Leanne Clare in the Bundaberg District Court on Wednesday after spending 146 days in custody.

The court heard Burke, who was on parole at the time, took a photo in between the legs of a 14-year-old child while she was sleeping. He was 28 years old at the time and the photo was found by police on his phone.

Calling it a "gross, demeaning violation of her privacy", Judge Clare acknowledged the offence was at the lower-end of the scale in terms of these types of offences, given the photo did not include a sexual act or depict genitals.

But she pointed out that not only had the disturbing photo been taken, Burke had befriended the girl without telling police, which is a requirement he has to fulfil as a reportable sex offender.

"You have persisted in defying that condition," Judge Clare said.

The father of six has been previously convicted of sexual offending.

After being released from prison for breaching his reporting conditions 11 times, Burke befriended a number of young children in secret.

And about five years ago, he was convicted of grievous bodily harm.

"The history paints a disturbing picture and raises concerns for the future," Judge Clare said.

"The dogged failure to report contact deprived those children of the supervision and protective facility that ought to have been provided by those reporting conditions."

The court heard Burke had his own history of child sexual abuse, which he had since been prescribed anti-depressants for.

During the proceedings, he also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with reporting conditions, two counts of unlicensed driving, one count of drug driving and possessing a drug utensil.

A head sentence of two years imprisonment was imposed.

Burke was also disqualified from driving for three months and four months for the two unlicensed driving charges respectively.

He was sentenced to two months in prison for the drug driving and one month for possessing a drug utensil.

All sentences are to be served concurrently and parole eligibility was set for October 24.



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