Northern Territory man jailed for 39 online child abuse offences
A Katherine man has been sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment for multiple online child abuse related offences.
The man, 30, was sentenced today (17 October, 2022) in the Northern Territory Supreme Court after he earlier pleaded guilty to 39 child abuse related charges.
The investigation began in December 2021 when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received information from the United States about an online user uploading child abuse material to the Discord platform.
Investigators from the Northern Territory Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), which comprises AFP and NT Police officers, linked the man to the associated Discord account via Internet Protocol (IP) records.
The man pleaded guilty on 14 October 2022 to:
- 11 counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- 12 counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- Five counts of using a carriage service to cause child abuse material to be transmitted to self, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- Two counts of using a carriage service to procure a person believed to be under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.26 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- Six counts of using a carriage service to groom a person believed to be under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person believed to be under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- One count of using a carriage service to plan to cause harm to a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.25C of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- One count of possessing child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
Acting Superintendent Malcolm Bickford said AFP investigators were relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child abuse material.
“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,” Acting Superintendent Bickford 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 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