Launceston paedophile James Pevitt jailed for ‘dating’ child

James Peter Pevitt.
James Peter Pevitt.

A Launceston paedophile caught having an “online relationship” with a child in Queensland has been jailed.

James Peter Pevitt admitted to police he was planning to travel interstate to visit the 11-year-old girl and have sex with her after they became “boyfriend and girlfriend” in March this year.

They had both discussed the possibility of her falling pregnant.

The 23-year-old Prospect Vale man had added the girl on Facebook and their “relationship developed”, despite him knowing she was a child.

They exchanged naked photos and Pevitt made up lies to convince the girl to send a picture of her touching her vagina.

He told her he had been kidnapped and she needed to send the photo to save him.

He also made up female identities so the girl would believe she wasn’t just talking to him.

Having pleaded guilty, Pevitt appeared in the Launceston Supreme Court again on Friday to learn his fate.

Handing down his sentence, acting Justice Pierre Slicer said “the court was reluctant to impose a custodial sentence” due to Pevitt’s lack of criminal history, his age and his early pleas of guilty.

But he said the court had “certain obligations” and the “misuse of the internet especially to seduce a child” was a concern for the broader community.

Referring to the girl’s victim impact statement, acting Justice Slicer said she “believed the lies” and “remains hurt” by Pevitt’s actions. 

Pevitt was convicted of communicating with intent to procure a person under 17 years to engage in an unlawful sexual act, possessing child exploitation material and making a communication with the intention of exposing a person under the age of 17 years to indecent material.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ jail.

Acting Justice Slicer suspended six months of that sentence for three years on the condition Pevitt commit no crime of a sexual nature or any offence punishable by imprisonment. 

Pevitt’s name was placed on the community protection offender register for five years.