A man who paid underage teenage girls to perform sexual acts has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in a West Australian prison.
Laurence Patrick Briggs, 41, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual penetration of a child, one count of indecently dealing with a child and four counts of using electronic communication to procure a child to engage in sexual activity.
The first victim was aged 14 when Briggs chatted to her on social media between August and October 2017, the WA District Court heard this week.
They arranged to meet and after Briggs sexually abused the girl, he gave her $60.
On a separate occasion, he paid her $70.
Another victim was introduced to Briggs through a friend and they communicated via text messages, the court heard.
In October 2017, he picked her up from a train station and when she could not get into a bar because she was underage, he took her to a karaoke bar and hired a private room where he gave her alcohol.
After the abuse, he gave the victim $60.
On another occasion, he met the girl and her friend at a hotel, where he gave them alcohol and later paid the victim $400.
Other conversations he had online were with an undercover police operative, the court heard.
Judge Fiona Vernon accepted Briggs was remorseful and ashamed, and had since undergone a significant amount of psychological treatment.
"Offences involving sexual abuse of children are very serious and the dominant sentencing considerations are personal and general deterrence, and the protection of children," she said.
Briggs must serve at least three-and-a-half years behind bars before he can be eligible for parole.