Sydney man jailed for possessing child abuse material

Child_Exploitation

A Sydney man, 29, has been given a two-year community corrections order and required to undertake 200 hours of community service for possessing child abuse material and uploading it to social media.

The investigation began when AFP received a report from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a Facebook user who was uploading child abuse material to Facebook and Facebook Messenger platforms.

The email addresses associated with the Facebook profiles identified by NCMEC had been linked to approximately 90 additional reports for child abuse material.

Investigators from the Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team linked the man to the account and arrested him at his Moorebank home in December 2021. During the search warrant, officers seized a number of electronic devices that contained child abuse material.

On Thursday 6 October 2022, the man pleaded guilty in the Campbelltown District Court to two offences:

  • Possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is one year and 10 months’ imprisonment; and
  • Causing material to be transmitted to himself using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 11 months imprisonment.

The Sydney District Court today (17 March, 2023) imposed a community corrections order until April 2025 and undertake 200 hours of community service.

Detective Sergeant Navi Pandher said this investigation should serve as a warning that the AFP was dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court.

“Our message to online offenders has not changed - If you procure, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted,” Detective Sergeant Pander said.

“This is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators.”

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (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 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 is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.

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 www.thinkuknow.org.au, 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 www.accce.gov.au.

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.

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2021-22

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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