Australian man jailed over Filipina sex webcam

SYDNEY (AFP) - A former barrister was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail on Tuesday for paying for young girls to be sexually abused in the Philippines while he watched on a webcam in Australia.

Dominic Patrick Hickey, 49, pleaded guilty to one charge of procuring a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity outside Australia.

He had paid for girls as young as seven to be sexually abused by males to his instructions, paying organisers in the Philippines about AU$14 (S$16.40) each time, according to reports.

His requests reportedly included one involving a young girl between the ages of four and seven, and one which would have been something "like (in) a porno film". However, not all his requests were carried out.

In sentencing, Victorian County Court judge Felicity Hampel said Hickey had preyed on poor, vulnerable children.

"Your conduct showed no regard for the children. You actively encouraged the abuse," she said, according to The Age.

The newspaper said that Hampel ordered Hickey to undergo sex therapy treatment while in custody and said he would be registered as a sex offender for life.