New Zealand national sentenced to two years and three months’ jail for accessing child abuse material

Child_Exploitation

Editor's note: Vison of the arrest and seized items are available via Hightail

A 51-year-old New Zealand national was sentenced to two years and three months' jail on Wednesday (6 October 2021) for downloading and transmitting child abuse material.

The man was sentenced in the Wollongong District Court for five offences relating to the use of social media applications such as Facebook, Telegram, Wikr and Whatsapp to send and received hundreds of videos and images of children being sexually abused.

An investigation began last year (2020) after the Australian Federal Police (AFP) received a referral from the United States based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an internet user, believed to be based in Australia, had accessed child abuse material using a Google account.

Investigators from the AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team executed a search warrant at the man's home in the Wollongong suburb of Windang in October 2020.

Police seized several electronic devices that were found to contain photos and videos of children being sexually abused.

The then 50-year-old man was charged with five offences:

  • Two counts of possess or control child abuse material obtained or accessed busing a carriage service contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
  • Three counts of use carriage service to transmit child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The man's sentence of two years and three months' jail includes a non-parole period of nine months.

AFP Detective Leading Senior Constable Amanda Thompson said the AFP is committed to tracking down and charging perpetrators who exploit vulnerable children.

"Child sex abuse offences committed online have real world consequences. Every time these images are viewed and shared, children are harmed. We will continue to work tirelessly to track down these offenders," Detective Leading Senior Constable Thompson said.

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button.

Note to media:

USE OF TERM 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL, NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'

Use of the phrase "child pornography" 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 captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not "pornography".

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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