Hawke has already spent a year in custody.
Hawke has already spent a year in custody.

Sick pig farmer’s vile phone calls

WARNING: Disturbing content

AN HIV-POSITIVE Victorian former pig farmer repeatedly phoned a woman in Thailand to procure sex with her two-year-old granddaughter, a court has been told.

Kangaroo Flat man Howard John Hawke, who is due to turn 70 next month, was intercepted by police in 2016 talking about "extremely depraved sexual activity" with the toddler during his next trip overseas.

According to phone intercepts, Hawke told the woman to whip the child, saying he "likes to see young ones hurt".

The County Court of Victoria was told on Friday that Hawke had sold his West Australian piggery in 2006 for more than a million dollars, funding his retirement.

He travelled extensively through South East Asia, becoming "involved in the extremely sexualised environment" of Thailand.

But when he was raided in March 2017 at what was "basically a boarding house" in Victoria, he had only $6500 in cash, $13,000 in credit card debt and an unregistered car to his name.

Crown prosecutor Krista Breckweg said during the phone calls, the child's "impoverished" grandmother had shown reluctance, saying the child was too young for penetration.

But Hawke denied he planned to have sex with the child, claiming the phone calls were "fantasy" or like "phone sex", and that he was just "a bit of a pervert". Ms Breckweg argued the behaviour was "not a fantasy".

"He talks about extremely depraved sexual activity," she said. "He talks about the baby being held down by her own mother and grandmother. "This behaviour was premeditated. He wanted to go overseas with the intention of procuring babies."

Hawke also made a violent video of the woman's 16-year-old daughter - the toddler's mother - the previous year in which she was whipped while screaming, wearing a dog collar and with her wrists bound.

Ms Breckweg said Hawke was found with 32 child porn images and seven videos when he was raided, and was also charged with transmitting 13 extreme child porn images.

He was also charged with sexual assault against an intellectually impaired woman in Australia.

Defence lawyer Robert Timms said Hawke had contracted HIV but would not transmit the virus as long as he stayed on his medication.

He urged Judge Trevor Wraight to not impose "a crushing sentence" on Hawke, who would eventually be released from prison as an aged pensioner with a large credit card debt.

Hawke, who has already spent a year in custody, has pleaded guilty to some charges and will likely be sentenced to an immediate term of imprisonment by Judge Wraight on Thursday.