Sydney Times

Child Abuse Material CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Sydney man jailed following US tip-off about the trading of child abuse material online

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Sydney man jailed following US tip-off about the trading of child abuse material online

 

A Kirrawee man was sentenced to eight and a half years’ imprisonment in the Downing Centre Local Court on Friday (9 September, 2022) on 16 counts of possessing or transmitting child abuse material.

The man, 43, was arrested and charged in January 2021 following the execution of search warrants at the man’s home in the southern Sydney suburb of Kirrawee and place of employment in Barangaroo.

AFP Child Protection Operations investigators examined the man’s mobile phone at the time and uncovered child abuse material, along with a number of chats in the Kik application where the material was traded. Further information about the arrest can be found here.

The AFP investigation began following a report to the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) by the FBI in October 2020 about a Kik user trading in child sexual abuse material.

AFP Detective Acting Sergeant Clare Fitzpatrick said the borderless nature of internet-based crimes meant working closely with international partners was vital for prosecuting offenders.

“This arrest serves as a warning that you are not as anonymous online as you think you are, and the material you are sharing is capturing the horrific abuse of actual children. You can’t hide behind a screen,” Detective Acting Sergeant Fitzpatrick said.

The man pleaded guilty to 16 charges in in March:

  • Possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Seven counts of transmitting child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Five counts of causing child abuse material to be transmitted using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Two counts of accessing child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material on 3 or more occasions involving 2 or more people, contrary to section 474.24A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

He was sentenced to eight years and six months in jail with non-parole period of five years and six months.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation 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.

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