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Kyabram man jailed over trying to procure teenage girl for sexual activity

By Ivy Jensen

A KYABRAM man who procured a teenage girl - whose profile was operated by police - for sexual activity through social media has been jailed for one year.

Sean O'Halloran, 29, pleaded guilty in Bendigo County Court on Tuesday to using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 for sexual activity, and using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years.

According to ACM, the court heard between November 5 and December 4 last year, O'Halloran sent Facebook messages to what he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Judge Paul Lacava described the messages as "salacious discussions of a highly sexualised kind".

The court also heard he sent the Facebook profile a photo of his erect penis.

Police searched O'Halloran's home on December 10 last year and his phone was seized and he was questioned by police.

O'Halloran admitted to the messages but said he was not going to meet the girl.

The court heard he told police he knew he had to engage in this kind of offending to get back into the psychiatric ward.

A search of his phone found he had photos of the purported girl and the photo of himself he had sent the teen.

O'Halloran was arrested and placed in custody on December 10 last year. He has been in custody since then.

Judge Lacava said O'Halloran's offending was a "serious example of serious offending".

But the judge said he took into account O'Halloran pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, saving the time and cost of a trial.

Judge Lacava also said the early plea indicated O'Halloran's remorse.

The court heard O'Halloran was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 16 and had a possible acquired brain injury.

The 29-year-old has also been using illicit substances since he was a teenager.

Defence counsel Eleanor Millar told the court it was unlikely O'Halloran would be able to cope with or complete a community corrections order as part of his sentence.

Judge Lacava said he accepted the defence's position.

O'Halloran was sentenced to one year in prison, including time served while in custody.

He will also be registered as a sex offender for 15 years.