Christopher Murray Harley-Townsend, 35, admitted in the court on Friday to persistently abusing a then-10-year-old boy after the child's father - a longtime friend - invited him to live in their home in 2016. Harley-Townsend, who wept in the dock as the charges were read, also admitted offending against two other boys and possessing about 12,000 images and recordings of child exploitation material.
Christopher Murray Harley-Townsend, 35, admitted in the court on Friday to persistently abusing a then-10-year-old boy after the child's father - a longtime friend - invited him to live in their home in 2016. Harley-Townsend, who wept in the dock as the charges were read, also admitted offending against two other boys and possessing about 12,000 images and recordings of child exploitation material.

Perth man abused three children, including mate's son

A trusted family friend who committed depraved sex crimes against a young boy under his care has pleaded guilty to 130 charges in a Perth court.

Christopher Murray Harley-Townsend, 35, admitted in the District Court of WA on Friday to persistently abusing the then-10-year-old boy after the child's father - a longtime friend - invited him to live in their home in 2016.

Harley-Townsend, who wept in the dock as the charges were read, also admitted offending against two other boys and possessing about 12,000 images and recordings of child exploitation material.

The court heard Harley-Townsend abused his 10-year-old victim on more than 30 occasions over a period of six months at locations including the family home in WA's Wheatbelt region and in a car on the way to a concert.

Prosecutor Rebekah Sleeth told the court Harley-Townsend had filmed much of the abuse, at one point producing a compilation entitled "sexiest boy in the world".

She said the offending represented a grievous breach of trust that had destroyed the lives of the victim and his family.

"Trust and joy is gone from the lives of this family," Ms Sleeth told the court.

The court heard Harley-Townsend was unemployed, depressed and abusing drugs and alcohol after the breakdown of a long-term relationship when invited to move into the family home.

His lawyer Neville Barber said Harley-Townsend became infatuated with the victim and his grooming of the boy escalated into offending in which he derived comfort from his "trainwreck" of a life.

"Once (he) set off into this journey of darkness ... there was no return," Dr Barber said.

Harley-Townsend, who also admitted exposing the victim's younger brother to pornography, initially denied many of the charges.

He also claimed his victim had initiated the sexual conduct, according to a psychological report.

Harley-Townsend also pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy he met at a youth camp in the early-2000s.

Ms Sleeth said that offending, which began when he offered to teach the boy how to drive if he kissed him, had set the victim on a trajectory of drug abuse and crime.

The abuse came to light when the victim confided in a prison chaplain.

Dr Barber conceded a lengthy prison term was inevitable but asked the court not to impose a "crushing" sentence.

Harley-Towsend was remanded in custody to be sentenced on February 7.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support  call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 


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