Chris Dannevig used a fake Facebook account to lure 18-year-old Nona Belomesoff to bushland in Leumeah in 2010, under the pretence that he would get her a job caring for animals.
The 22-year-old confessed to pushing the teenager into a creek and holding her under water for two minutes.
In a sentencing hearing at the New South Wales Supreme Court today, the Crown Prosecutor Chris Maxwell QC argued that Dannevig was aware of the teenager’s passion for animals and used this knowledge to carry out a calculated and cunning attack.
The court heard that while no ‘significant cause of death‘ could be identified, Dannevig had told a detective that he’d held Ms Belomesoff’s head underwater for two minutes ::::
The court also heard Dannevig had found the code for Ms Belomesoff’s ATM card and withdrew $170 shortly after the murder.
“There was a good deal of planning to create the situation of having (Ms Belomesoff) alone and vulnerable in a bushland setting, away from any chance that she could have for a member of the public to assist her.” Mr Maxwell said Dannevig “tapped into the passion this young woman had for animals …with an intention to kill”.
Dannevig’s barrister, Philip Young SC appealed for the Judge to take into account his intellectual disability. The court heard Dannevig had been treated for mental health issues before the attack. Mr Young told the court that his client is remorseful for what he did and did not plan to kill the teenager.
Nona Belomsoff’s supporters screamed “burn in hell murderer” as Dannevig was led away after the hearing. Dannevig is due to be sentenced later this month.
ARCHIVE! May17, 2010: Police are urging teenagers to remove their profile pictures and personal details from Facebook after a man was charged with the murder of a young Sydney woman last week.
It was alleged that Nona Belomesoff, 18, believed she was going to work with an animal welfare organisation when she left her home last Wednesday to meet two men she befriended on Facebook.
Her body was found in a creek bed in Sydney’s south-west on Friday and police have charged a 20-year-old man with her murder. Police say the second man Ms Belomesoff believed she was meeting did not exist.
The man charged with murder allegedly set up a false Facebook profile masquerading as someone who worked with animals. The case has ignited debate on the issue of cyber safety and security, particularly when it comes to younger people.
Although the majority of friends on a Facebook user’s list are people they know, it is relatively easy to make new friends online.
Detective Superintendent Peter Crawford is with Queensland’s Task Force Argos, which targets online predators. He says there is no reason a teenager or a child should have a photo on their Facebook profile page.
Mr Crawford says photos, school details, or a young person’s date of birth should never be posted on the social networking site. ”If you use social networking as a closed networking with friends that you know… then the risks are very much reduced,” Mr Crawford told ABC Local Radio. ”But if you post private information … you are leaving yourself very much exposed not just to these types of offences, but also to fraud.”
Every month, the police task force receives at least one complaint in relation to online offenders, but covert police posing as children online can be hit upon regularly.
Users must be at least 13 years of age to sign on to Facebook, but a child can easily sign up for a profile by altering their date of birth. In November last year, Facebook fine-tuned its privacy settings so a user could control each individual area of their profile. The change allowed Facebook users to decide whether to list details such as photos or posts, for example, as visible to friends, friends of friends, or to anyone. The onus is on the user to change their settings from open to private, which means some people may not even realise how much information they’re sharing to the outside world.