A former Canberra Anglican pastor who messaged a 14-year-old girl in his congregation asking her to send him naked pictures has avoided jail.
Brian Gibson Champness, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of using a carriage service to send indecent material and was sentenced on Tuesday.
Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson said Champness' behaviour towards a family who he became close with was "an appalling breach of trust".
The court heard Champness met the family when the girl was 13-years-old and eventually began attending her football matches and got her personal phone number.
He began communicating with her on Snapchat and would offer the girl lifts home and invited her to go to the movies with him, which she refused.
Champness began to ask the girl to dress and wear her hair in certain ways before beginning to ask for pictures of her face.
He asked the girl for pictures of her legs which she declined to send.
When he asked for naked pictures after she'd told him she was having a shower the girl told her parents about what Champness was doing.
The girl read a victim impact statement to the court and said that she would not trust people as much in the future.
She said what Champness did would be constantly with her and she said she was disappointed with herself that she did not pick up on the signs earlier.
The girl's mother told the court of the horror of discovering that somebody she had pointed her children, particularly her son, towards as a mentor had preyed on her daughter.
The court heard Champness admitted the messages were for his own sexual gratification and had tried to conceal his offending.
But Justice Loukas-Karlsson also found Champness had displayed remorse for his actions and the effects on the victim.
In a letter to the court, Champness said he hoped the girl would not suffer lasting effects due to his actions and felt guilt for breaching the trust of the family and bringing shame upon the church.
Champness lost his job and his marriage due to his offending and a character reference described him as a broken and contrite man in the "absolute pits of despair".
Justice Loukas-Karlsson sentenced Champness to 12 months in jail which would be fully suspended, accepting his prospects for rehabilitation.
He must provide a $1000 surety and submit to a two year good behaviour order.
"All these people trusted you as a family friend and pastor," Justice Loukas-Karlsson said to Champness.
"A supposed man of God. No man of God does that.
"You must work every day of your life to become a better person and a worthwhile member of our community which you have not been."