Trent Turnbull pleaded guilty after attempting to procure sex from a 14-year-old girl.
Trent Turnbull pleaded guilty after attempting to procure sex from a 14-year-old girl.

Man tried to lure girl for sex

A FATHER of five pleaded guilty to using the internet in an attempt to procure a child for sex.

Former nightclub security officer Trent Turnbull was sentenced in Mackay District Court on Thursday and will serve four months of an 18-month term.

Turnbull was charged last year with using the internet to communicate with a child under the age of 16 about sex.

Defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan represented Turnbull on behalf of Strutynksi Law and said his actions were during a time when he was smoking cannabis heavily.

On hearing this, Judge Hugh Botting said it "may perhaps explain how you came to commit this offence but it doesn't excuse it".

Between August 12 and September 13 at Seaforth, Turnbull, now 32, contacted a 14-year-old-girl he met at a boxing class, through the internet site facebook, Crown prosecutor Chris Winlaw told the court.

She was in Year 9 at the time, and Turnbull, then 31, engaged in conversations where sexually explicit remarks were directed at the child.

Police executed a search warrant on November 9 and seized Turnbull's computer equipment.

The court heard Turnbull made comments to the child about having access to speed and cannabis and offered speed to her. He also told the girl he'd had sex with girls younger than her, Mr Winlaw said.

Ms Hartigan said Turnbull was "puffing himself up" when he made these comments.

The girl told her mum and deleted Turnbull from her facebook account. He requested to be re-added and she accepted so she could copy remarks sent to her, Mr Winlaw said.

This latest charge was in violation of a two-month suspended sentence for assaulting a nightclub patron in 2009.

Judge Botting evoked the suspended sentence, which Turnball will serve as part of the four-month term.

In March 2009, Turnbull was also stabbed with a screwdriver while working security, which resulted in life-threatening injuries.

He had also been diagnosed with major depression and post-traumatic distress disorder, Ms Hartigan said.

Turnbull has four children, whom he has custody of, with his ex-wife, and one child and a child on the way with his new wife, who also has a child to her ex-partner.

Ms Hartigan said Turnbull described himself as a stay-at-home dad and at any one time could have six children under his care.

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