Bradley Lester Grey pleaded guilty to the offence of domestic trafficking in children, contrary to s 271.7 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) i.e. the transportation (or facilitation of transportation) of a person under the age of 18 for the purpose of the young person being used to provide sexual services.

Grey and ‘X’ (his partner) met the complainant at a fast food outlet in Canberra where she worked. Grey initially told the complainant that he ran a modelling agency and asked whether she would be interested in becoming a model. At some point, Grey convinced the complainant to travel with him and X around Australia for the purposes of sex work where she could make ‘a lot of money’. Between July and August 2013, Grey, X and the complainant travelled around Australia. The complainant and X would provide sexual services in a variety of locations, generally organised by Grey and X. After about two months, the complainant asked Grey to arrange for her return to Canberra. When he refused, she felt ‘totally trapped’ and called the police.

In assessing the objective seriousness of the trafficking offence, Murrell CJ considered the following:

  • The offender’s awareness that the complainant was vulnerable to his influence due to her age (17) and her disadvantages as a minor estranged from her family, with poor finances and an ambition (manipulated by the offender) to be a model;
  • The offence was opportunistic, not part of a large-scale trafficking operation;
  • The offender went beyond ‘facilitating’ transportation as he arranged it personally;
  • The offender was motivated by financial gain;
  • The purpose of transportation was sexual service;
  • The complainant became emotionally reliant on the offender and she felt unable to leave;
  • As a minor, the complainant was unable to consent to being transported for the purposes of providing sexual services.

Grey was sentenced to four years and 10 months for the offence of domestic trafficking in children. The total sentence was 11 years and five months, inclusive of various sexual offences.

Case Citation

R v Grey (No 3) [2020] ACTSC 43