Sydney man jailed for sending explicit messages to a child

Child_Exploitation

A 25-year-old Western Sydney man who coerced a child into sending him self-produced child abuse material has been sentenced to three years and nine months’ jail by the Parramatta District Court yesterday (6 April 2022).

The man was arrested by AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations investigators in June 2020 as a result of Operation Albamarle. The investigation began after the AFP received information from New Zealand Police about the exploitation of a local child by a man who they believed lived in Sydney.

NZ Police found an offender had targeted the child on Instagram and sent explicit messages.

AFP and NZ Police investigators allegedly linked the 25-year-old to the communications and arrested him in June 2020 after executing a search warrant at his Baulkham Hills home. Police seized a number of electronic devices that allegedly showed the man had been in contact with a number of children over a three-year period.  

The man was initially charged with using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).    

He was later charged with additional offences and in October 2021, the man pleaded guilty to the following offences:

  • 15 counts of use carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Two counts of use carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).   

The man was sentenced to three years and nine months’ jail. He is eligible for parole after serving one year and 11 months.

Detective Sergeant Jarryd Dunbar said the investigation showed how closely the AFP worked with its overseas counterparts to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.

"Our common goal is to protect children, wherever they live. People who choose to use the internet to target children can be rest assured that the global law enforcement community are watching and we are resolute in our mission to protect children from online exploitation," Det-Sgt Dunbar said.

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 exploitation and 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 any information about people involved in child exploitation and abuse are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child exploitation and abuse, including sexual abuse and online exploitation, there are support services available.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, 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

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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