Collingwood superfan dodges jail over child sex abuse
Collingwood AFL superfan Jeffrey "Joffa" Corfe has been spared jail time after sexually abusing a child in 2005.
Corfe, 62, last year admitted sexually abusing the boy when he was aged 14 at Corfe's home in Melbourne's north. He pleaded guilty to a charge of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16.
The pair met online, with Corfe telling the boy he was 30. While their messages started off as "general", Corfe introduced a sexualised element into the conversation.
Once they met in person on January 29, 2005, the victim soon realised Corfe was older and more unkempt than what he'd described. He claimed to be "6ft, slim, brown hair, straight acting", a court was earlier told.
After Corfe sexually abused him, the then 44-year-old agreed he should not have done what he did to a young person.
Corfe knew that at the time of the abuse, but instead put his own sexual gratification above all else, Judge Gerard Mullaly said during Corfe's sentencing in the County Court of Victoria on Monday.
"The victim was far from comfortable and left after minutes," the judge said.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was traumatised by the encounter.
He blamed himself for 15 years for what happened, sometimes mourned those years he lost, and felt like he had a "dirty, embarrassing, shameful secret", he earlier told the court.
"He was wrongly made to feel that what happened was his fault," Justice Mullaly said.
"That feeling was a serious impediment to him living the life he could have lived and the life he deserved."
The abuse was a "one-off" in Corfe's otherwise law-abiding life, and happened at a time when he was struggling with his sexuality, the court was told.
He was a loving father and those who knew him attested to his lifelong commitment to helping others.
Corfe's daughter described him as a "man of his word" and integrity, and others - including Father Bob Maguire - noted his charitable efforts and work to help others less fortunate.
Corfe was exposed to violence, rejection and neglect in his youth and was dealing with health issues including concerning cardiac problems, the court was told.
The judge wholly suspended Corfe's 12-month prison sentence for two years but he will be a registered sex offender for 15 years. If he commits a crime in those two years, he could be re-sentenced to serve out the whole 12 months in prison.
If he did not plead guilty, the judge would have handed him a prison sentence of two years and four months with a non-parole period of 14 months.