Tasmanian man jailed for downloading 2422 child abuse files


A Riverside man was yesterday (Thursday 15 December) sentenced to 12 months behind bars charged for possessing and downloading more than 2000 files containing explicit child abuse material.

The man, 46, faced the Launceston Supreme Court charged with accessing and possessing child abuse material and using a carriage service for sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age.

The investigation began when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received information about an email account storing child abuse material files.

The AFP linked the man to an IP address using the email address, which was also registered in his name.

On 30 April 2020, AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man’s Riverside home where they found several electronic devices containing a total of 2422 images and videos of child abuse material.

The man was one of more than 100 offenders charged as a part of Operation Molto – a global operation coordinated by the ACCCE – working together with state police to remove 51 children from harm after identifying offenders across Australia.

Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle said the sentencing today demonstrates the AFP's commitment to investigate and charge offenders believed to be involved in child exploitation and sexual abuse.

“Today should serve as a warning that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court,” D/Sergeant Hardcastle said.

“Our investigators are relentless in their pursuit of anyone sharing or accessing child abuse material, but we will always need the community’s help to ensure we are effective in identifying victims and perpetrators.”

The man pleaded guilty to:

  • Using a carriage service for sexual activity with person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.25A of the Criminal Code (Cth);
  • Possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

He was sentenced to a term of 12 months’ imprisonment, to be released on a Recognisance Order after serving 4 months’ imprisonment.

He was placed on the sex offenders register for 4 years. 

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:


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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