Jarrod Milgate refused bail on child pornography, solicitation charges

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A Bulli teenager accused of using social media to solicit naked pictures from a 12-year-old girl will remain behind bars after his second bail application was refused on Wednesday. 

Jarrod Milgate, 19, was arrested last month over allegations he used Snapchat and text messages to repeatedly solicit nude pictures and sex videos from the young girl while exploiting her vulnerable mental state.

He is accused of urging her to kill herself at one stage during their interactions, while on another occasion he allegedly accessed her Snapchat account, changed her password without her knowledge then held the account hostage until she agree to send him a sexy video.

In court on Wednesday, defence lawyer Laura Fennell said Milgate suffered from “crippling anxiety and depression”.

“I’m told there had been a deterioration in his mental health at the time of the alleged offences,” Ms Fennell said.

She told the court if released, Milgate would live at his grandparents’ house which didn’t have internet access.

Prosecutors opposed Milgate’s application, saying they were concerned he would pose a risk to community safety if freed on bail.

Magistrate Cate Follent agreed Milgate posed an unacceptable risk if released and refused the application.

“The Crown case appears quite strong – police have seen text messages between the accused and the alleged victim,” she said, noting police had also located child pornography on Milgate’s phone.

Court documents reveal Milgate and the girl have never met in person and only ever interacted on social media after being connected through a mutual friend in July last year.

Police allege their conversations began innocently enough however soon turned sexual, with Milgate allegedly asking her to send him nude pictures, saying he knew where she lived and where she went to high school.

In October, Milgate allegedly hijacked the girl’s Snapchat account changed the password and refused to return control of it to the teen until she sent him a video of herself in a sexual act.

The girl’s mother discovered the intimate text messages and videos on her daughter’s phone and reported the matter to police.

The matter will return to court on July 12.