In 2006 Carly Ryan thought she had met her dream boyfriend online. His name was Brandon Kane, a 18yr old musician from Melbourne. Brandon was in fact fictitious. An internet construct, the cyberspace alter ego of Gary Francis Newman, a 50yr old predator and paedophile. Carly fell in love with the Brandon construct during 18 months of online contact and phone calls.
Gary Newman spent months masquerading as Brandon Kane to win Carly’s love. When he tried to seduce her in person pretending to be Brandon’s father “Shane”, she rejected him. Angry, Gary Newman returned to Melbourne vowing to “fix Carly up.” He used his alter ego to lure Carly to a final, fatal meeting.
In February 2007, Gary Newman convinced Carly to meet him. He took Carly to a secluded beach at Port Elliott, South Australia. There, he bashed her, pushed her face into the sand, suffocating her, he then threw her into the water to drown. She was only 15yrs old.
Within 11 days, detectives located Gary Newman in Victoria. They found him at his computer, logged in as Brandon Kane talking with a 14yr old girl in Western Australia. They arrested him, charging him with Carlys murder. In a Supreme Court trial which continued for over three months, a jury found Gary Francis Newman guilty of murder. He was sentenced on March 31st 2010. South Australian Justice Trish Kelly ordered him to serve a life behind bars with a 29yr non parole period.
Justice Kelly said “Gary Newman deserves a life behind bars for his grossly perverted plan to deceive, seduce and murder Carly.” “It was a terribly cruel thing you did to this beautiful, impressionable 15yr old child” Justice Kelly said “I say child because that’s what she was, a child that fell in love with the idea of the handsome, musically inclined and rather exotic Brandon Kane, the real man was infact an over weight, balding, middle aged paedophile with sex and murder on his mind”
Justice Kelly said “You were sexually obsessed with Carly to the degree that when you couldn’t get your own way, you prepared to and did kill her” Carly was a beautiful, sensitive, loving and amazing young lady with her whole life ahead of her. For Carly, her dreams, goals and future were taken away by a selfish, twisted, deviant sex predator.
The Carly Ryan Foundation was incorporated by Carly’s mum, Sonya. Her aim is to create awareness and educate children and parents using the internet. She will work to expose the thousands of multiple identities paedophiles use to lure young children.
Cyber pervert’s will continue to prey on kids unless we wake up to the risks of various online mediums, chat rooms and social networking sites. What happened to Carly can happen to anyone. People that groom the young online are manipulating and controlling. They know exactly how to target a child. They become the most important person in that child’s life, then use that trust to do whatever they like to their victim. The internet is part of our daily lives, it is essential that children, teens and young adults learn how to navigate the worldwide web safely.