Bowen man appeals jail term over child sex crimes
A Bowen man jailed for sending “d*ck pics” to underage teen girls has pushed to have the conviction quashed, arguing the jury verdict was “unreasonable”.
A jury believed Shaun Peter Coventry began chatting with two teens, aged 15 and 13, on social media calling himself Luke Norbert specifically to engage in sexual acts in 2017.
Then 28, he sent both girls images of an adult male penis, and had the older teen take explicit photos of herself and engage in sexual chats over the phone.
The older teen gave evidence in Townsville District Court that Coventry called her a sl*t “if I didn’t send him more (photos) or have sex with him”.
He had described himself as oversized, 28 and in the Bowen area.
The younger teen said Coventry sent her a “d*ck pic” straight away and asked if she was a virgin.
In November 2019 he was found guilty of two counts each of using electronic communications to procure a child under 16 and indecent treatment of a child under 16, and one count of involving a child in making child exploitation material. He was jailed for two years with parole eligibility in November 2020.
Coventry appealed the verdict on the grounds it was unreasonable or could not be supported having regard to the evidence.
Justice David Boddice, in a recent judgment, said the issue was whether the evidence was strong enough to link Coventry as the user of a telephone number and social media account.
The elder teen gave evidence the calls were always from a blocked number. Call charge records showed that number was for a prepaid service under Coventry’s name. He told police he had lost that SIM card before the alleged offending behaviour began.
However there was no evidence in relation to the holder of the device having the International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers recorded in the relevant call records.
Investigating police made inquiries to Facebook in relation to the communications via Messenger.
“Facebook declined to provide any evidence on the ground of privacy,” Justice Boddice said.
When police searched Coventry’s property the SIM card linked to the telephone number that made the calls was not found and there was no evidence in relation to that SIM card’s location.
Coventry denied any knowledge of the incidents.
“(He) submits that the evidence led at trial was insufficient to satisfy the jury beyond reasonable doubt that (Coventry) was Luke Norbert,” Justice Boddice said.
“The fact that the Crown did not lead evidence of an IMEI link to a particular phone used by (Coventry) did not render the jury’s verdicts unreasonable.
“Whilst (Coventry) told police he had lost the SIM card … it was open to a reasonable jury, properly instructed, to reject that explanation.”
Justice Boddice found there was an “inherent improbability” in another person having found the SIM card and later using it as Luke Norbert, giving a description they were a 28 year old oversized man from Bowen, a description fitting Coventry.
Justice Boddice found an independent assessment of the evidence as a whole established it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Coventry was Luke Norbert and committed the offences.
“There is no significant possibility an innocent person has been convicted of the offences,” Justice Boddice said.
The appeal was rejected.