Child porn cricket coach who tricked victims online jailed

A NORTHERN Rivers cricket coach and student teacher has been sentenced to more than three years' in prison for child pornography offences involving 11 boys aged between 10 and 15.

Adam Meads, 25, of Bangalow appeared in the Lismore District Court yesterday via video-link from Cessnock jail after pleading guilty to 15 child pornography-related charges.

The charges included 10 counts of using a carriage service to solicit child pornography, two counts of possessing child abuse material and two counts of using a carriage service to publish child porn.

The court heard Meads created three female online profiles, Bronte, Sarah and Emma to lure the boys into sending sexually explicit photos of themselves engaged in sexual acts.

"He sent sexually explicit messages and pictures of the girls represented," Judge L Wells said during sentencing.

"At the same time he communicated as himself with the boys to encourage them to engage with the female profiles he had created.

"He used forms of blackmail to induce boys to send photos of themselves as they were engaged in sexual acts."

Judge Wells said Meads, through the fictitious girls' profiles, threatened to tell the victims' friends and family unless they sent him sexually explicit photos and videos.

On April 2, 2014, Meads was listed on the child protection register for previous similar offences.

Then in June 2014, the court heard Meads created Instagram and gmail accounts he did not disclose to police.

He used these accounts to engage 20 local children on social media, police facts stated.

When police raided Meads' home in 2014 they found 1598 child porn images and 125 child porn videos on his mobile phone, most of boys less than 10, the court heard.

Detectives also found two documents on Meads mobile phone, one containing images of local children whose faces had been photo shopped onto child porn photos.

The other seven page document titled 'letter to Tara' contained names, ages and a detailed physical description of Meads' victims.

The court heard Meads' victims looked up to him because they thought 'he had it all going on.'

Some victims Meads met while he was studying to be a primary school teacher.

"I find it very difficult to accept that it was some accident that he underwent teacher training," Judge Wells said.

Meads had previously given evidence 'admitting gaining a sense of power and control over people online and he said it was addictive'.

In sentencing the cricketer, coach, umpire and student teacher, Judge Wells said Meads had taken advantage of associations with some of his victims and their families.

"The offences involved a high degree of planning," she said.

"He engaged in calculated, persistent, predatory, callous conduct."

Judge Wells said Meads had no prior criminal record, and poor prospects of rehabilitation.

Meads was sentenced to three years and three months jail.

He will be eligible for parole on August 27, 2017.