Four years jail for phone sex man

A CONVICTED sex offender who stole a mobile phone, sent sexually explicit messages to teenage girls and arranged to meet another for sex, has been jailed.

Michael Warwick Moss, 37, was sentenced to four years with a minimum of two-and-a-half years in the Victorian County Court today.

The court heard he stole a mobile phone from a Melbourne suburban park and used it to send explicit text messages to four teenage girls, the youngest of which was 13, in 2008.

He found his victims by trawling the phone’s memory and threatened to send one explicit picture of himself.  The following year, an undercover police operative rang Moss using a phone number he had written in various places, including a secondary school, asking people to phone him for sexual contact.

The operative, posing as a 15-year-old girl, exchanged text messages with Moss.

Moss posed as a 20-year-old and asked if she would be interested in receiving some “very hot” pictures.  He also told her they should meet up so they could perform sexual acts.  When arrested soon after, he told police his actions were stupid and due to boredom, loneliness, depression and “trying to be someone I’m not”.  The court heard Moss’s offending began 12 days after his release from serving a jail sentence at Ararat Prison.

Victorian County Court Judge Duncan Allen said his actions were offensive and caused fear among his victims.  “Your offending was antisocial and extremely ugly and the community demands this behaviour ought to be denounced,” he said.

Moss pleaded guilty to charges including using a carriage service to cause offence, failing to comply with reporting obligations under the sex offender’s act, and using a carriage service to procure a child under 16.  He also pleaded guilty to stealing over 300 items valued at almost $13,000 which he pawned at Cash Converter stores around Melbourne.

The court heard he had a longstanding history of cannabis and alcohol abuse, suffered mental illness and had a tragic personal background.  He had about 40 prior convictions for similar offending, including using a phone service to harass or offend.  The sentence takes into account just over a year he has already spent in custody.

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