Cairns man sentenced to more than three years in jail for child abuse offences

A Cairns man has been jailed for possessing child abuse material following an AFP investigation into payments of money made to the Philippines to facilitate child abuse.

The 58-year-old was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment in the Cairns Magistrates Court on Tuesday (15 March 2022).

AFP Northern Command Child Protection investigators arrested the man at his home in the suburb of Yorkeys Knob on 26 August 2020, following intelligence the man was sending money to the Philippines to facilitate the abuse of children.

The man pleaded guilty this week to grooming a person to engage in sexual activity with a child outside of Australia, possessing child abuse material obtained using a carriage service and using a carriage service to solicit and cause child abuse material to be transmitted.

He will have to serve a minimum of 18 months in jail before becoming eligible for parole.

The AFP is also urging the public to help it solve cold case child abuse investigations through its Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object initiative. The smallest clue can often help solve a case.

The world-leading initiative, is centred on the publishing of non-confrontational images that can be seen in child exploitation online material such as pieces of clothing or bedding.

Australian investigators believe the images are linked to victims in the Asia Pacific Region, including Australia, and are calling on the community to view the images and make a report at www.accce.gov.au/trace

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or 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 are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.

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.

Notes 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.

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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