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22 April 2024, 9:31am
Media Release

Online child sex predator jailed and two children removed from harm

A NSW man has been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in Australia and two young girls have been removed from harm in the Philippines after an international child protection investigation.

The man, 52, paid for videos which showed children being sexually abused and also solicited child abuse material from a minor.

A joint AFP, Australian Border Force (ABF) and Philippine National Police (PNP) investigation began after ABF officers found child abuse material on the man’s mobile phone during a baggage examination at Sydney International Airport in April 2023.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man’s Hunter Valley residence in May 2023, where they found child abuse material on another mobile phone.

The man was charged later that month and pleaded guilty in November, 2023 to four offences.

As a result of the investigation into the man’s activities, the AFP referred intelligence to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC). Inquiries by the PNP in Manila resulted in two girls being taken into the care of child protection services in June 2023.

PNP arrested a man, 25, in the Philippines who had allegedly facilitated the production of child sex abuse material after conversing with the NSW man. He remains before the courts.

The NSW man was sentenced at the Downing Centre District Court on 12 April, 2024 to seven years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years and three months for:

  • One count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474S.27A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of grooming a person to make it easier to engage in sexual activity with a child outside Australia, contrary to section 272.15A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • One count of breaching bail, contrary to section 77(1) of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW).

AFP Detective Superintendent Emmanuel Tsardoulias said child sex abuse victims suffered each time images or videos of their abuse was accessed and shared.

“The man did not just pay to watch children being hurt – his payment for child abuse material encouraged harm to be inflicted on young girls for his own personal gratification,” he said.

“The AFP is working tirelessly with partners to protect children – no matter where they live – and arresting and prosecuting anyone involved in harming them and stealing their innocence."

AFP Manila Liaison Officer Detective Sergeant Daisie Beckensall said the AFP’s international network and all partner agencies were committed to protecting children around the world.

“The rescues and arrests are a powerful reminder of why the AFP works closely with partners around the globe – to share intelligence and the resources necessary to target anyone who preys on children,” Det-Sgt Beckensall said.

ABF Superintendent Brett Totten said as result of the detection skills and intuition of our highly trained Border Force officers, two children were now out of harm’s way.

“The ABF will always work to protect our community’s most vulnerable, ensuring we can assist our partner agencies and protect as many at-risk children as we can.

“We will continue to work alongside our federal counterparts to identify and prosecute those who seek to harm and exploit children, be that in Australia or abroad.”

Since its inception in February 2019, PICACC operations have resulted in 679 victims being removed from harm and 142 alleged facilitators arrested.

Of these, the rescue of 239 victims internationally and the arrest of 56 alleged offenders were a direct result of AFP International Command members in the Philippines facilitating and value-adding to referrals from Australian-based investigations.

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 are urged to contact the ACCCE. 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.

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 on the ThinkUKnow website, 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 the ACCCE website.

Note to media


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.

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