Byron Bay celebrity marriage celebrant guilty of grooming child

Byron Bay celebrity marriage celebrant guilty of grooming child

November 15, 2023

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Marriage celebrant Adam Magnus has confessed to grooming a child for sexual activity, revealing himself as a predator concealed among the rich and famous of Byron Bay.

In February and March, court documents say, Magnus used a carriage service to communicate with a person he believed was under 16 to procure them for sexual activity in the state’s north.

Adam Magnus, a wedding celebrant to the rich and famous of Byron Bay, has confessed to two counts of using a carriage service to procure a child under 16-years-old for sexual activity.Credit: Facebook

The 62-year-old was facing 10 charges in total, including travelling to meet a child groomed for sexual activity, but eight were withdrawn ahead of his guilty plea.

Magnus sat silently on the video link in Lismore court on Monday, wearing the standard-issue greens worn by NSW prisoners and occasionally waving his hand in an apparent attempt to gain the court’s attention.

He was beamed in from Clarence Correctional Facility, where he has been in custody since police from the child abuse squad arrested him at home in March.

The court heard Magnus’ case was committed from the local court to the district court to list a sentence hearing date. Judge Jonathan Priestley set down December 5 after ordering a sentence assessment report (SAR).

“I’ll do what I can on December 5 as I won’t get the SAR in time,” Judge Priestley said.

Despite its large transient population of surfers, students and celebrities, Byron also has a tight-knit community of permanent locals, who traded hushed rumours when Magnus suddenly vanished from public life earlier this year.

Few knew he had been arrested, even fewer knew the nature of the charges.

Magnus had painted himself as a family man and a sidekick to his successful wife, Jane Magnus, one of Australia’s most sought-after wedding planners. There is no suggestion Jane Magnus had any knowledge or awareness of her husband’s crimes and there are no allegations of her wrongdoing.

Adam Magnus traded on his wife’s profile, boasting he had officiated at the 2014 wedding of supermodel Stephanie “Bambi” Northwood-Blythe and designer Dan Single.

Jane Magnus planned the high-profile event and her husband was the celebrant before a celebrity-packed guest list. Jane’s own star reached its zenith when she organised the wedding of Hollywood star Margot Robbie.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, Magnus attempted to ramp up his celebrant business while Jane posted online about “rock star” events she was throwing for brands and moneyed clients.

Since Magnus’ arrest, the court heard on Monday, he has made no attempt to be released on bail. Now he wants to be sentenced as quickly as possible.

His time served in prison since March will likely be deducted from his final sentence.

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