NSW man charged with multiple child abuse and weapons offences

Child_Exploitation

Editor’s note: Vision of the arrest is available via Hightail

A 58-year-old man from the NSW mid-north coast is expected to face Port Macquarie Local Court today, charged with accessing and producing child abuse material.

The man came to police attention after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from Europol relating to Australian users accessing child abuse material via a website.

The man was arrested as AFP officers executed a search warrant at his home near Kempsey yesterday (8 June 2022). Investigators seized multiple items, including a mobile phone and DVDs suspected to contain child abuse material, as well as a shotgun, rifle, knuckle duster and a silencer.

AFP Child Protection investigator Emily McFarlane said this arrest is yet another reminder of how prevalent online child abuse is in Australia.

“Unfortunately, online child abuse material is not rare, but the AFP and other law enforcement agencies will continue to work tirelessly to identify and prosecute those preying on children,” Constable McFarlane said.

“Parents, caregivers and the community are the first line of defence when it comes to protecting our children. We need you to educate yourself and your children about online safety.”

The man was charged with:

  • One count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Two counts of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);   
  • One count of producing child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW);            
  • Four counts of possessing child abuse material, contrary to section 91H(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW);
  • Two counts of possessing an unauthorised firearm, contrary to section 7A of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW);
  • One count of not keeping firearm safely, contrary to section 39 of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW); and
  • Two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon without permit, contrary to section 7 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.

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 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.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE 'Closing The Net' is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a 'whole-of-community' response.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.

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.

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.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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