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WA man sentenced for online child abuse offences

08 September 2023, 5:35pm
Media Release

WA man sentenced for online child abuse offences

A West Australian man was sentenced to two years and eight months’ jail by the District Court of Western Australia yesterday (7 September, 2023) for accessing, possessing and transmitting child abuse material.

The man, 47, had previously pleaded guilty to five offences relating to obtaining 1091 child abuse videos and images online.

He was arrested in August 2022 as part of Operation Tamworth, a joint operation between the AFP and Western Australia Police Force.

The investigation into the man’s activities was launched when the AFP received a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding an online user uploading child abuse material to a social media platform.

Investigators from the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), which comprises officers from the AFP and WA Police Force, executed a search warrant at the man’s Dudley Park home on 31 August, 2022, where he was arrested and charged.

During the search warrant, WA JACET seized a mobile phone, which was found to contain more than a thousand of files containing child abuse material.

The man was charged with the following offences:

  • One count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Three counts of transmitting child abuse material contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • One count of accessing child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 (1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

Each of the offences carries a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Inspector Andrea Coleman said the AFP, together with state and territory law enforcement partners, remained committed to protecting children.

“Anyone who views this material is committing a crime,’’ Insp Coleman 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 man was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment. He will be released after serving nine months on a $3000 recognisance order requiring him to be of good behaviour for 18 months.

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 at 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

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, 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

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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