Australian Federal Police (AFP) has reported a 55-year-old Bellmere man was sentenced to one year and three months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four months by the Brisbane District Court on Friday 27 May 2022 after pleading guilty to possessing child abuse material.
The man was charged under section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth), a charge that can carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
The man was arrested after the AFP began investigating him in July 2020 following information from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children provided to the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE).
It was alleged the Queensland social media user was uploading and distributing child abuse material. The AFP was able to link the man to the social media account, executing a search warrant at the man’s Bellmere home in October 2020. Officers seized 10 electronic devices containing child abuse material.
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. She stated “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. 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 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 atwww.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.