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15 February 2024, 7:50am
Media Release

WA man jailed for online child abuse related offences

This is a joint release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force

A Wellard man has been sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment for 32 offences relating to soliciting, possessing and transmitting child abuse material, as well as two breaches of bail.

The man, 47, was sentenced by the Perth District Court last week (9 February, 2024) after pleading guilty in May, 2023, to 28 Commonwealth offences and six offences under West Australian legislation.

The WA Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) charged the man in November, 2021, after investigating a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a person uploading child abuse material online.

Police linked the Wellard man to the illegal online activity and when investigators executed a search warrant at his home on 30 November, 2021, they found child abuse material on his mobile phone.

He was initially charged with two offences and a review of his mobile and other seized devices resulted in an additional 26 Commonwealth offences. 

The man was charged with breaching his bail twice in 2022 after failing to appear in court for scheduled hearings over the online child abuse offences.

When he was arrested after the second breach, police allegedly identified further offending and laid charges under WA laws related to child exploitation material.

He was sentenced to a total of four years and six months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 20 months.

AFP Detective Sergeant Karen Addiscott said the AFP worked tirelessly with partners to protect children wherever they lived and ensure anyone involved in their abuse or exploitation was identified and prosecuted.  

“Anyone who accesses images or videos of children being abused is committing a crime,” Det-Sgt Addiscott said.

“These are not just images on a screen, they show a real child being harmed and subjected to a situation that no child should ever experience.

“We also want to warn people that written communication which describes the sexual abuse or exploitation of children, as well as computer-generated videos, drawings or photographs, are child abuse material under Commonwealth legislation.”

 The man was convicted of:

  • 24 counts of transmit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Two counts of solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(iv) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of producing child abuse material (textual), contrary to section 474.23 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(i) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Three counts of distributing child exploitation material, contrary to section 219 of the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913 (WA);
  • One count of possess child exploitation material, contrary to section 220 of the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913 (WA); and
  • Two counts of breach of bail, contrary to section 51 of the Bail Act 1982 (WA).

 The maximum penalty for each Commonwealth offence is 15 years' imprisonment.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation 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 at the ACCCE website. 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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