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Man cleared of paying for underage sex

Date

Louis Andrews

File image.

File image. Photo:

A jury has acquitted a Canberra man of paying an underage girl cannabis and cash for sex.

But Stevie Mambor has been found guilty of intentionally possessing child pornography at the end of a confronting ACT Supreme Court trial.

The 58-year-old has been released on bail pending a sentencing hearing next week, but he has already spent almost 19 months locked up on remand.

The jurors took more than five hours to find Mambor not guilty of having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl and using her to produce child pornography.

The case hinged on whether the West Papua-born man knew the girl was 15 when they had intercourse.

There was no dispute the pair had sexual intercourse, with Mambor admitting as much when he entered the witness box in his own defence on Thursday.

But the girl earlier this week told the court she initially lied about her age, telling Mambor she was 18.

And she admitted she initially sought him out while "desperate" and offered to have sex with him for cannabis and money.

The alleged victim told the jury she eventually told Mambor her real age and they argued, but he continued to have sex with her for months afterwards.

Mambor, however, said he discovered the truth going through her bag on April 18 or 19 last year and immediately broke off a sexual relationship.

Police raided his Allawah Court flat on April 21, found Mambor with the girl and another female and took him into custody.

All three charges before the court relate to April 18, when the pair had intercourse and a photo was taken of the act on Mambor's phone.

The image was discovered when police later analysed the device.

The verdict suggests the jurors were not satisfied Mambor was aware of the girl's real age when they had sex and the picture was taken, but that they were convinced he intentionally kept the image after he learned the truth.

The court heard Mambor was at the time on a two-year good-behaviour order attached to a six month suspended sentence for committing an act of indecency in the presence of a child.

Mambor's barrister, John Purnell, SC, said the defence team would ask for Mambor to be sentenced to the rising of the court on the child pornography possession charge.

The Senior Counsel said the time he had already spent locked up on remand was likely to be greater than any sentence he would have received.

Mambor will be sentenced on Wednesday.

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