Narre Warren man jailed for possessing hundreds of child abuse pictures
A Melbourne man, 65, has been sentenced to one year and seven months’ jail after pleading guilty to two online child abuse offences, including transmitting child abuse material via a messaging platform.
The Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), comprising members from the AFP and Victoria Police, arrested and charged the man in April, 2020, after the AFP received a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an online user transmitting child abuse material through the Wickr messaging platform.
AFP investigators linked the man to the account and executed a search warrant at his Narre Warren home on 14 April, 2020, where they seized a mobile phone which was found to contain child abuse material (CAM) and text based messages discussing and transmitting CAM.
On 1 February, 2023, the man pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to two offences:
- One count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- One count of possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
He was today (6 February, 2022), sentenced to 19 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three months.
AFP Senior Constable Kelly George said the AFP and its partners would never give up their fight to protect children and stop those trying to harm them.
“This investigation should serve as a warning that we are dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court,” Senior Constable George said.
“We also ask the community to help us ensure we are effective in identifying victims and perpetrators.
“If you have information that could help law enforcement, please contact the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) at https://www.accce.gov.au/report.”
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.
An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE 'Closing The Net' is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a 'whole-of-community' response.
The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.
If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.
Note to media:
Use of term 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'
The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.
Use of the phrase "child pornography" is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:
- indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
- conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.
Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297