A 55-year-old Bellmere man was yesterday (27 May 2022) sentenced to one year and three months’ imprisonment by the Brisbane District court after pleading guilty to possessing child abuse material.
In July 2020, AFP Northern Command Child Protection Operations commenced investigations into the man following a report from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation. The report related to a Queensland social media user uploading and distributing child abuse material.
AFP investigators linked the man to the social media account before executing a search warrant at his Bellmere residence in October 2020. Officers seized 10 electronic devices containing child abuse material.
The man plead guilty to possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
Yesterday he was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four months.
AFP Acting Superintendent Child Protection Operations Mary Bolton said the AFP works closely with partners around the world to stop those seeking to prey on children online.
“We will never give up our fight to keep children safe and we urge parents and carers to understand how the technology their children are using works and connects to the internet,” she said.
“Please talk to your children about who they interact with online and remind them to never share personal details or images with online ‘friends’.
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 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 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.
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.