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Army cadet sentenced over Snapchat threesome scandal

An army cadet who filmed himself having a threesome and distributed the explicit video without consent in a “horrendous violation” of a woman’s privacy has dodged a prison sentence.

Daniel Igoe, 22, was booted from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on Friday in military court but spared jail due to factors including his early guilty plea, remorse and the psychological distress caused by his brief incarceration earlier this year.

Defence Force Magistrate Gregory Sirtes described the conduct as “deplorable” and “hedonistic attention-seeking” behaviour as he told Igoe his fate.

Igoe was 20 when he made and distributed the video on August 17 last year after “Silly Saturday” celebrations for the Australian Defence Force Academy rugby club.

At around 6pm at a Canberra bar, Igoe and two army colleagues – a man and a 19-year-old female cadet – decided to go back to their ADFA accommodation to have a consensual threesome.

During the sex, Igoe recorded a looping video on Snapchat, captioned it “Threesomes with (man’s surname) are fun” and sent it to three people.

The video was extremely explicit and the man and woman were both identifiable, the court heard. Neither were aware they had been filmed.

The woman was the sole complainant in the proceedings.

On Friday, prosecutor Cassandra Kanaley said Igoe’s “abhorrent” actions were a “clear betrayal of trust and a severe invasion of privacy” in which he had little regard for his colleague’s reputation.

At least 11 ADF personnel either received or were shown the video, Ms Kanaley said.

“These are persons the victim might have to work closely with as either their superior or their subordinate in the future.”

Igoe had apologised to the victim, but she was under the misapprehension he had only shared a photo of the three of them heading back to their accommodation, Ms Kanaley said.

Psychologist Peter Stoker, who has assessed Igoe twice in the past eight months, said he “always wanted to be in the army” and was doing relatively well psychologically despite having “lost a career he loved”.

He was probably more drunk than he had ever been in his life on the night of the threesome and was “very remorseful”, the psychologist said.

“He couldn’t really understand why he did it. He said it was a one-off situation, he made a terrible mistake, and he said it’s ruined his future.”

Igoe now hopes to join the police force, the psychologist said.

Magistrate Sirtes said the “gross violation” committed by Igoe would not only cause embarrassment to the victim in her social and work life but also “eviscerate any sense of trust” between her and other ADF members.

He accepted the offence was more serious in a military than civilian context for this reason, though noted it was “deplorable” in both.

Igoe had asked for a “severe reprimand” and for his career to not be cut short over a “stupid incident” that happened when he was drunk.

A fine or a reduction in rank were also floated as potential sentences.

But Magistrate Sirtes said they were not enough and dismissed him from the ADF.

It was the second time Igoe was sentenced, after being dismissed from the military and ordered to spend 35 days in jail earlier this year before it was overturned by the Federal Court and sent back to the ADF.

He spent two nights in custody and was left “in a state of uncertain suspense” for the past six months, Magistrate Sirtes said.

This and various mitigating factors spared Igoe from prison, but without them, his “debasing” conduct would have required a custodial sentence, the magistrate said.

The sentence will not be imposed until it is affirmed under review.

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