A ship’s captain that had hit an oil tanker over five years ago confessed pretending to have an identity of a teenager online to indulge in sexual conversations with young girls.
On Thursday, Jacob Taverner has been sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court. He pleaded guilty earlier to a host of charges he had committed over a year. These included 19 counts of deploying a carriage service for transmitting indecent communication to teenagers and children who were aged below 16.
The court had heard the 57-year-old accused – with no criminal history – had indulged in sexualized conversation with 20 young girls who were aged between 11 and 15 years in three months.
He used a pet name on Instagram to connect with these girls. His profile is that of a teenager. Justice Susan Brown said that Taverner shared and spoke about these videos depicting child exploitation with nine other individuals, thought to be “like-minded”, in a private group chat.
In addition, he also admitted viewing and storing about 600 child exploitation materials. This includes photographs of children, including two-year-olds, being abused by a male individual.
Justice Brown referred to his behavior as more than simply idle curiosity. The court was informed that Taverner had been having nightmares since an accident that happened at sea in 2015 when another man has been at the helm of a ship he had been captaining.
The tremendous noise of the vessel hitting an oil tanker had woken up Taverner. Even though Taverner had been exonerated, he was no longer the same later on.
When the industry experienced a downturn that followed Taverner, who was then in his mid-50s, had been laid off. Justice Brown said that the accused had offended at a low point in life after experiencing trauma.
But neither did he have an explanation nor could he recall a major part of the episode of offending as he had been heavily drinking.
She gave Taverner a sentence of more than three years (four more months to be precise) behind the bars. Taverner can apply for parole on 12 September 2022.