Hamilton district man to spend eight months behind bars

​A Hamilton district man ​who strongly encouraged a teenage girl to send four intimate images of herself has been jailed.

Mark Stephen McLellan, 48, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to procuring a child to make child pornography and possessing child pornography.

McLellan was sentenced to eight months jail and will be placed on the sex offenders register for 15 years.

Magistrate Cynthia Toose said McLellan engaged in sexualised conversations with the victim which Ms Toose understood to be a form of grooming.

She said victim impact statements from the mother of the victim and the victim demonstrated how the offending would have long and lasting impacts on both of them.

Ms Toose said it had been submitted by McLellan’s defence counsel that time in custody would impact on his poor health and the health of his wife.

She said specific deterrence was a significant factor in sentencing, particularly to any young people who were misguided and sent intimate images to one another.

She said McLellan behaved for his own sexual gratification and the victim was manipulated so he could meet his own needs.

Ms Toose said the court needed to send a message to young people and others that this type of conduct would not be tolerated.

The maximum penalty for each offence is two years' imprisonment.

In a separate hearing a Hamilton man who slapped his partner’s face as hard as he could was placed on a community corrections order.

Ben ​​Khawli, 31, of Norma Avenue, ​pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to unlawful assault, breaching an intervention order and having a homemade firearm.

On Friday he was placed on a 12-month community corrections order, ordered to do 120 hours of community work and jailed 16 days, which he has already served.

Ms Toose said she hoped he would embrace the opportunity for rehabilitation.

The court previously heard that on the morning of February 27​ ​Khawli and the victim argued over relationship issues, it became heated and he punched a hole in a door.​

On March 16 the couple had another confrontation about relationship issues and Khawli said he slapped the woman as hard as he could. Police arrested him and a search located one gram of cannabis and a home-made metal firearm.

Defence counsel Belinda Northey said the firearm was similar to an orange gun and was to be used to fire out fishing sinkers and hooks while fishing. She said it was not operational. 

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