Editor's note: Audio grabs from AFP Detective Acting Sergeant Adam Barcham are available via Hightail.
A NSW man was sentenced to two years and ten months' imprisonment this week (22 May 2023) by Tamworth Local Court for child abuse-related offences.
The Guyra man, 39, was charged with multiple child abuse-related offences after the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and New Zealand authorities separately identified child abuse material on two online storage accounts.
The information was reported to the AFP, who linked the accounts to a man residing in regional NSW.
In April 2022, members of the AFP's Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team executed a search warrant at the man's Guyra home, seizing two devices that were found to contain child abuse material.
The man pleaded guilty in Tamworth Local Court on 8 February 2023 to:
One count of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and One count of accessing child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
He was sentenced to two years and ten months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of one year and one month. His sentence was backdated to 12 May 2023 but he was released on 22 May to serve his sentence on strict conditions in the community.
AFP Detective Acting Sergeant Adam Barcham said the case showed how closely the AFP worked with international partners to find individuals who sought child exploitation material.
"Children are not commodities to be used for the gratification of sexual predators," Detective Acting Sergeant Barcham said.
"The AFP will continue to work tirelessly to protect children and prosecute those who seek to exploit them."
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 are urged to contact the ACCCE at 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 is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. 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.
For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit www.accce.gov.au.
Note to media:
Use of term 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL not 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'
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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