An Aussie cop had disgusting chats with someone he thought was 15-years-old and sent them a photo of his genitalia beside his uniform as a “cheap way to get (his) rocks off,” he told a court.
James Anthony Gwynne, 31, faced sentence proceedings in Campbelltown District Court over a string of child abuse material charges regarding online chats in February to April last year, many of which are too graphic to detail.
The court heard he has been suspended but remains officially employed with NSW Police.
While mainly working at Waverley Police Station in Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs, Gwynne used the social media app Whisper to link up with users in the US, with whom he discussed bestiality and incest.
Among the disgusting fantasies he referenced included getting a woman and her 12-year-old daughter pregnant, or doing the same to his own imagined daughters.
The court heard in one conversation with someone he thought was 15-years-old, Gwynne asked if “daddy” could “see a pic of his little breeding toy”.
When he was told “no” and asked why, the “teenager” responded with: “I don’t show my face to people on here. I’m still a minor after all”.
When asked: “How about you prove to me ur (sic) a naughty Aussie cop and hold your badge next to it then I will,” Gwynne sent a picture of his erect penis next to his police uniform.
In a conversation with the same person, he said:
“Daddy is a police officer … if it makes you feel more comfortable, daddy is not going to do anything to risk going to jail, like share your pics. You’re safe with daddy if you show your face”.
In reality, Gwynne was talking to an officer from the US Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force.
In one chat, Gwynne asked someone: “Do you want a cute Australian cop to put a baby inside you, now that you’re older?”
Giving evidence on Tuesday, Gwynne said he had been “down in the dumps” following his arrest and felt “ashamed” about what he’d done.
He told the court he knew the conversations about bestiality and incest were illegal, but didn’t realise those with a 16-year-old were because she was “over the age of consent”.
At this point, Judge Tanya Smith SC reminded him one of the people had told him they were 15-years-old.
“By asking a person who’s 15-years-old to send a picture of her genitalia, isn’t that asking a child to do something sexually?” she asked.
Gwynne admitted it did.
When asked by his lawyer Jack Tyler-Stott why he committed the offences, he said he saw it as a “cheap way to get (his) rocks off”.
“I was looking for a cheap wank, to put it bluntly”.
He denied he had an attraction to children, though accepted he’d introduced the topic of children in the chats.
The court heard he felt he was “not hurting anyone” at the time but had since learned through psychological help that if he had acted out the behaviour “in a real way with real children, it (would’ve opened) them up to be hurt … and put them in a downward spiral”.
But during cross-examination by the crown prosecutor, Gwynne was accused of using his position as a police officer to make women and those he thought were teens “feel safe” because they “both had something to lose”.
The now-traffic-control-officer told the court the offences had a “heavy impact” on his wife, who has stayed with him since his arrest, despite the pair nearly separating several times.
The crown prosecutor asked him if his family — including his wife — had seen the facts of the case, to which he said they hadn’t, before admitting he did not know if they had read media articles about him either.
Judge Smith asked: “Is that one of the reasons your wife is not here (at court) today?” to which he said: “Yes”.
Gwynne was supported in court by his parents and siblings.
The court heard a psychologist submitted it was “probable” Gwynne had Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
He was internally investigated by NSW Police in two separate incidents before these ones came to light.
Both probes involved Gwynne posting photos in his police uniform on his public Tinder account.
Mr Tyler-Stott told the court there had been “recent movement” towards Gwynne’s official resignation from NSW Police.
“The paperwork appears to have been done but not to the extent that police have accepted the resignation,” he said.
Gwynne earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, one count of grooming a child outside Australia to make it easier to engage in sexual activity, one count of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material and one count of using a carriage service to offend.
The sentencing proceedings continue.