A Queensland neurosurgeon who sent “absolutely heinous” child exploitation material to an undercover police officer has avoided spending time behind bars.
Peter Geoffrey Lucas sent an explicit photo and two videos – one depicting a toddler – during the one-on-one conversation in a chatroom called “a safe place for minor-attracted people” in the KIK messenger application.
The court was told Lucas, now aged 45, was a victim of abuse by school counsellor Kevin Lynch while a student at St Paul’s School, north of Brisbane.
Defence barrister Saul Holt said the abuse was not an excuse, but enabled some understanding of an extraordinary situation.
Lucas initiated contact with the person who turned out to be a police officer on June 20 last year after creating his own profile in the chatroom that used the hashtag “pedosexuals”, the Brisbane District Court heard on Monday.
The undercover officer didn’t seek to obtain the material – described by prosecutor Noel Needham as “highly sexually charged”. Instead Lucas sent it voluntarily.
The material featured a girl aged about 12, a girl about 14 years old and a toddler.
Lucas also talked to the undercover officer about having sex with children, but Judge Paul Smith said he accepted this was fantasy talk.
The court heard he had been suspended from practising medicine, losing his $800,000 a year income and was at risk of bankruptcy.
Since his arrest in August 2019 Lucas has engaged in “exceptional rehabilitation” after disclosing his own abuse at the hands of Lynch.
Lucas faced a maximum penalty of 14 years behind bars, but was handed a 15-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to one charge of distributing child exploitation material.
Judge Smith ordered the sentence be wholly suspended for two years.