12 Nov 2015

Six years' jail for internet predator

12:09 pm on 12 November 2015

A man who used the internet to prey on young girls has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexual offending.

Karl Sheridan Salmon, 21, had pleaded guilty to raping two girls under 16, and threatening to kill and blackmailing three others.

Two of his victims and their families were in court for his sentencing today.

Salmon contacted his first victim, a 14-year-old girl, through Facebook in September last year and, after exchanging messages and phone numbers, met her at a local school.

The pair continued contact and when they met for a second time, at Salmon's house, he told her to take her clothes off and raped her.

The court was told he used one hand to hold her down while he filmed the rape on his phone.

Salmon then threatened to put the video online if she did not send him nude photos, with the threats getting so bad the girl told her mother in February this year.

He also raped a 15-year-old girl in September last year; she had asked to stay at his house after running away from Child Youth and Family care.

Naive, trusting girls

Crown counsel Clare Boshier told the court Salmon took advantage of naive and trusting girls who were unequipped to deal with his emotional blackmail.

"The victim impact statements show the victims will continue to be affected by this for quite some time. One of the victims has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

"He has only shown superficial remorse, and has failed to understand the extent of his offending," Ms Boshier said.

Salmon pleaded guilty to the charges in September and was today sentenced to six years' jail, with a minimum non-parole period of two-and-a-half years.

Justice Mander took into account Salmon's 20 previous offences, including three of sexual offending dating back to 2011 and 2012.

He said Salmon had failed to fully understand the impact his actions had had on his victims, and therefore he had a high risk of re-offending.

Salmon sat in court with his head down and showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.

One of the victim's family members yelled at him as he left the dock, saying: "These will be the hardest years of your life."