Melbourne man sentenced to jail for possession of extreme child abuse material

A 43-year-old Melbourne man was yesterday jailed for 4 years after pleading guilty to accessing, soliciting, transmitting, possessing and making available the most extreme classification level of child abuse material.

The Victorian Joint-Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) investigation into the man’s online activities began in May, 2020, following reports that an online user was accessing child abuse material.

Enquiries by the Australian Federal Police-led (AFP) Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) identified a Melbourne man as the alleged user of this service.

The Caulfield North man was arrested by members of the Victorian JACET on 1 June, 2020. Following the execution of a search warrant, investigators found child exploitation material stored on the man’s mobile phone.

Police charged the man with:

  • Using a carriage service to access child pornography material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Using a carriage service to possess child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)

The 43-year-old was later charged with an additional 17 offences following forensic analysis of his seized devices and after AFP investigators discovered evidence in encrypted chat groups.

The additional charges included:

  • Using a carriage service to access child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Seven counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Three counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • Six counts of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The man was granted bail at the time of his arrest but has now been taken into custody following the sentence being handed down by the Melbourne County Court.

He will need to serve 2 years and 3 months before being eligible for parole.

The ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.

The Centre 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 abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at www.accce.gov.au/report.

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