Murray Hopwood pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Thursday to two charges.
Murray Hopwood pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Thursday to two charges.

Teaching grad secretly films sex act and sends to group chat

A teaching graduate secretly filmed a girl giving him oral sex and then sent the video to a Facebook messenger group chat, a court heard.

Police prosecutor Brendan Newman told the court the then 20-year-old victim and Murray Wynne Hopwood, 22, were both students at the same university.

The court heard Hopwood and the victim both attended a sports carnival in Bundaberg between February 1 and 4 last year.

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"In the evening of the second day of the sports carnival, the victim and the defendant have engaged in sexual intercourse," Sergeant Newman said.

"On two occasions while the victim and the defendant were engaging in sexual intercourse, the defendant has used his mobile phone to make video recordings of the victim using the application Snapchat."

The court heard the first video showed the victim naked and preparing to get dressed.

"In the video, the victim is standing face towards the camera initially, the victim's bare breasts and body is exposed," Sgt Newman said.

"The victim then turns around and her bare bottom is exposed to the camera."

Sgt Newman said the second video showed the victim performing oral sex on Hopwood.

"The victim was not aware she was being recorded and did not provide consent for these recordings," Sgt Newman said.

The court heard the first video was sent to someone in Snapchat and the second video was sent to a group chat in Facebook Messenger.

"The group chat had approximately 10-15 recipients who could all freely and repeatedly view the video upon its upload," Sgt Newman said.

The court heard a witness who was later added to the group chat told the victim about the videos who then reported it to police.

"The cowardly nature of the video recording of someone in such an intimate embrace without their knowledge shows an extreme violation of trust," Sgt Newman said.

"To then forward it on to numerous persons could only be done to degrade and give this defendant some gratification in the knowledge others had seen it.

"It is a cowardly and deplorable act to do this."

Hopwood pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Thursday to distributing prohibited visual recordings and recordings in breach of privacy.

Hopwood's solicitor Patrick Meehan told the court that Hopwood had been offered a teaching job in North Queensland to start next year.

Mr Meehan asked for no conviction to be recorded, as it would significantly impact on his teaching career.

Character references were submitted to the court, saying Hopwood was of otherwise good character.

The court heard Hopwood was remorseful and had sent a letter of apology to the victim.

Hopwood has no criminal history.

Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said it would be humiliating for the victim to realise people still may have copies of the recordings.

"Yours seems to be for no other reason than presenting her as a trophy for your mates, which is despicable and so disrespectful to that woman," he said.

He sentenced Hopwood to 200 hours of community service, to be completed in one year.

"With some considerable hesitation I won't record a conviction against you," Mr McLaughlin said.

"I appreciate it would destroy your career if I did.

"I must say I have some misgivings about it, that you plan to be a school teacher and you've taken advantage of a young woman like this.

"Spare a thought of what you've done to destroy that woman's life, to some extent."

Hopwood had also offered to pay $1000 in restitution to the victim.


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