Sunshine Coast businessman Richard Michael Espray is facing multiple charges related to the alleged abuse and abduction of a teenage girl.
Sunshine Coast businessman Richard Michael Espray is facing multiple charges related to the alleged abuse and abduction of a teenage girl.

Prominent Coast businessman 'manipulated' girl he 'sexually abused'

A PROMINENT Sunshine Coast businessman and motorsport enthusiast "manipulated" the young girl he is accused of abducting and abusing, a Supreme Court justice says.

Richard Michael Espray's application for bail on 21 charges, including one of abduction and 10 of indecent treatment of a child, was rejected on Wednesday.

The digital and print deal.
The digital and print deal.

The 42-year-old real estate agent will remain on remand until these charges, as well as six counts of using the internet to procure a child under 16, two of grooming a child with intent to procure a sex act and two of breach bail, are dealt with 

Justice Peter Davis described Mr Espray as "manipulative" while outlining how the defendant allegedly contacted the 13-year-old about 400 times while he was on bail. 

Justice Davis said the girl had a secret mobile phone the defendant allegedly called her on and the child phoned him at least 25 times.

Mr Espray also used his bail freedom to allegedly meet the girl at a car racing event and at a business on the coast.

"He should have understood the bail conditions," Justice Davis said as he rejected the defendant's application for release.

"The child is very young ... the conduct that is reflected in the allegations is clearly very manipulative.

"The breaches of bail were persistent and showed a complete disregard for the court's order."

Justice Davis said there was an unacceptable risk of Mr Espray "re-offending" if he was released from jail.

"There is a risk of him interfering with witnesses, influencing the complainant regarding her evidence." - NewsRegional



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