Dr Stephen Murray has walked away from prison a free man after pleading guilty to production of child exploitation material outside of Australia.
The charges related to written material and 10 child exploitation images found in Murray’s home of two teenage girls wearing little clothing.
Rockhampton skin doctor Stephen Peter Menzies Murray, has walked free after pleading guilty to producing child pornography overseas. The 58 year old has been sentenced to 18 months probation with a 3 year good behaviour bond.
He was arrested in Canada in 2018, after a passenger sitting next to him on an aircraft noticed him exchanging explicit messages with someone, later revealed to be co-defendant Helen Constant, 43 year old registered nurse- who was sentenced to 12 months probation.
The doctor and nurse who were caught texting about ‘having sex with’ children while they were passengers on a plane have both walked free from court.
Dr Stephen Peter Menzies Murray, 58, and registered nurse Helen Constant, 43, were sentenced in Rockhampton District Court on Tuesday for the offending which took place when they were flying from Prince Edward Island while on holiday in Canada in October, 2018.
A passenger witnessed the texts between Queensland doctor Murray and his girlfriend Constant – Part of a text message seen by the witness on the plane read: ‘her little legs were spread wide’. Murray was referred to as ‘sir’ and Constant as ‘slave’.
In a separate 900-word story saved in Murray’s notes on his iPhone, he wrote a story about a stepfather grooming two girls, titled ‘I get aroused by very young girls’, The Courier-Mail reported.
The story described the father getting the girls drunk and engaging in sexual activity with an 11-year-old at her birthday party,
as well as a child between five and eight years old, putting yoghurt on an 11 year old’s genitalia and penetration with a child’s genitalia.
There is no evidence they harmed any children in real life.
Murray was kept in custody in Canada until he was released on bail in October, last year, after posting a $10,000 bond, surrendering his passport, and agreeing to wear an electronic ankle bracelet.
In November, last year, a Prince Edward Island Supreme Court judge granted Murray permission to return to Australia, under a number of conditions. He was banned from using the Internet, other than for work and communicating with his lawyer.
Dr Murray’s barrister Jeffrey Hunter said
his offending, and subsequent behaviour after his release from the 16 days in custody in Canada, highlighted that his bipolar disorder that he was diagnosed with in 2010 was undertreated.
“There’s not the slightest evidence that his illness affected his medical practice,” Mr Hunter said.
Judge Burnett said this case was unique and unusual, adding he had never sentenced anyone in his career for producing child exploitation material for which the charge was based on SMS evidence alone.
“It was obvious to those that know (Dr Murray) that he has a manic personality,” he said.
Judge Burnett ordered Dr Murray to a three-year good behaviour bond with $1000 recognisance for the Commonwealth offence and 18 months probation for the production and possession offences.
Ms Constant was sentenced to a 12 month probation order.
You may be surprised to know Drs are not struck off the register for child exploitation offences. A NSW specialist was caught with thousands of child exploitation images on his computer and still practices today. Apparently he must not take on child patients but we know for a FACT he does not disclose to new patients, nor do the doctors who refer unsuspecting patients to him !
Murray will be able to continue as a Dr perhaps with a restriction on the age of his patients, perhaps not, as no conviction will be recorded for either of them.
Over and over again our courts fail to take child exploitation material seriously. They give suspended sentences, good behaviour bonds and probation. We don’t believe this is in keeping with public expectations.
Well the FACAA Julia’s Justice legal reform campaign is working on it, step by step, law by law…together, we will change this!