Toowoomba teenager Brendon Shields is the creator of Busted – Toowoomba, a Facebook group that threatened to expose clients of the city’s only legal brothel Deviations.
Toowoomba teenager Brendon Shields is the creator of Busted – Toowoomba, a Facebook group that threatened to expose clients of the city’s only legal brothel Deviations. Beverley Lacey

Brothel site 'went too far'

THE 17-year-old creator of the Facebook site who threatened to expose clients of Toowoomba’s only legal brothel admits he regrets how far the stunt went.

Toowoomba teenager Brendon Shields was encouraged by a friend to start the group which claimed to have photographs of Deviations’ clients, a claim that was later found to be not true.

Mr Shields came to The Chronicle to explain his actions.

He denied the website titled Busted – Toowoomba was never an attempt to close or discredit Deviations.

“It wasn’t attacking the brothel like people thought it was,” he said. “It was something we hoped would make partners who were considering cheating on their spouses think twice.

“I just think there’s no excuse for cheating.”

Busted – Toowoomba was shut down by Facebook administrators after Deviations’ owner Jim Welch said he would pursue legal action against the group if the photographs were made public.

The threats by the group’s creator led to calls from civil libertarians for an overhaul of Queensland’s privacy laws.

In Queensland, a person can’t prevent a third party taking their photograph, even if it is taken while the person is engaged in private activity, but the person may be able to prevent or take action over certain uses of the photograph.

Mr Shields said the controversy had, for the moment, put any campaign against cheating spouses on the backburner.

“I’m just trying to get over the hype this has all created,” he said.

But he admitted, as someone who had always stood up for what he believed, he would not be silenced for long.

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