NT man charged with drug, firearm and online child abuse offences
A Northern Territory man was expected to appear in the Darwin Local Court today (4 October, 2023) charged with drug and firearm offences identified during a child protection investigation.
AFP and Northern Territory Police allegedly found a replica firearm, cannabis, a substance suspected to be methamphetamine and fireworks at the man’s home in August, 2023, while executing a search warrant as part of an investigation into alleged online child exploitation offences.
The man, 45, was given a notice to appear at the Darwin Local Court today (4 October, 2023) charged with the following offences:
- Possessing a firearm while unlicensed, contrary to section 52 of the Northern Territory of Australia Firearms Act 1992 (NT);
- Possessing fireworks outside a stated approved period, under the Northern Territory of Australia Dangerous Goods Act 1998 (NT); and
- Possessing a commercial quantity of drugs, contrary to section 7 of the Northern Territory of Australia Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT).
The maximum penalty for the drug offence is 14 years’ imprisonment.
The man also appeared in the Darwin Local Court yesterday (3 October, 2023) on two offences of possessing and transmitting child abuse material.
The man was arrested and charged yesterday for the online child abuse related offences after a forensic examination of electronic devices which police seized from his home during the search warrant in August.
The examination allegedly revealed child abuse images and videos on the electronic devices.
The Northern Territory Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (NT JACET) had executed a search warrant at the man’s home as a result of an investigation launched into a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a user uploading child abuse material to a social media platform.
The NT JACET, which comprises AFP and Northern Territory Police officers, allegedly linked the man to the illegal online activity.
The man has been charged with:
- Possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- Transmitting child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.
The man was granted bail and will next appear in court on those two offences on 28 November, 2023.
AFP Superintendent Greg Davis said the matter was another reminder of the commitment of the AFP and its partners to protect children and identify and prosecute anyone who sought to exploit and harm them.
“This is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators,” Superintendent Davis said.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (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 are urged to contact the ACCCE at www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. 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.
For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit www.accce.gov.au.
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