'I have a crush on you': Love letter that exposed Espray
A CHILLING love letter a father found in his teenage daughter's bedroom was the first sign 44-year-old Richard Michael Espray's life was about to become unstuck.
The 13-year-old penned a letter declaring her feelings for Espray whom she would regularly text and eventually exchange explicit images with on his request.
Espray pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to six offences against the girl including grooming, abduction and indecent treatment with Judge Gary Long to hand down his sentence next week.
"Richard, I really like you and it drives me mad because im [sic] into you guess who was alone last night me!!," the letter read.
"Im [sic] still sorry. I wanna [sic] spend time with you I really do. oh [sic] and yeah I think I may have a crush on you."
Text messages the father also found between the pair confirmed his suspicions, but when he asked Espray about the relationship the allegation was denied.
He went to police in early 2017 after Espray continued to pursue his daughter.
During Espray's part-heard sentencing on Wednesday, the court heard he became interested in the girl when his marriage started to break down.
The teen's father took her overseas to get her away, but Espray continued to message her.
After she returned to Australia, Espray took her to a hotel room where police found them.
Defence barrister Tracy Thorp told the court Espray removed the girl on advice of Child Services because of issues with her father.