Perth man jailed for online child abuse offences
A Perth man has been sentenced to nearly two years’ jail by the Perth Magistrates Court today (6 November), after pleading guilty to 11 counts of child abuse-related offences.
The Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) commenced an investigation into the man, 56, after receiving a referral from INTERPOL about a teenager in the United Kingdom who had been asked for sexually explicit images and conversations by an Australian man in exchange for money.
The WA JACET, which is comprised of AFP and Western Australia Police, commenced an investigation and linked the man to the activity.
AFP investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s Mosman Park home on 24 March, 2022 where he was arrested and charged.
Police seized a tablet and two mobile phones which were found to contain evidence of further offending, including photos and conversations which constituted child abuse material.
The man pleaded guilty to the following offences on 19 May, 2023:
- Seven counts of transmitting child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
- One count of soliciting child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- Three counts of possessing child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for each offence is 15 years’ imprisonment. He was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.
AFP Detective Sergeant Karen Addiscott said the AFP, together with its international, state and territory law enforcement partners, remained committed to protecting our community's most vulnerable – our children.
“Anyone who views this material is committing a crime,’’ Det-Sgt Addiscott said.
“Our message to online offenders has not changed – if you procure, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted.
“This is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators.”
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.