A 50-year-old Castle Hill man charged with 25 counts relating to child abuse material has been sentenced to five years imprisonment by the District Court of New South Wales on Friday (27 November).
In 2017, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) received a tip off from law enforcement in the United States. It alleged an Australian was using the mobile application, Kik, to transmit child abuse material, and was involved in chat groups that traded images of abuse online.
The AFP launched an investigation in July 2017 and identified the then-47-year-old Castle Hill man, employed at the time by the Australian Defence Force.
In September 2017, police conducted a search warrant, with the assistance of the Australian Defence Force, at Potts Point. A search warrant was also executed at the man’s residence in Castle Hill.
A number of electronic devices were located during the search warrants and examined by police. This led to the man being charged and refused bail.
The matter went to trial in the District Court of New South Wales and on 31 July 2020, the jury returned a guilty verdict after two hours of deliberation for the following offences:
- 22 counts of using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material contrary to section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
- three counts of aggravated offence – offence involving conduct on 3 or more occasions and 2 or more people contrary to section s474.24(A)1 of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The man was sentenced to five years imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years and eight months.
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.
For practical tips for parents, carers and schools to help keep kids safe, visit the ACCCE website.