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CDPP v Locke [2021] VCC 414

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 4 counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material contrary to s 474.22(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and 1 count of possession of child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service contrary to s 474.22A(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.  

Nature and Circumstances: Offender’s transmission of the two images was limited. The written description of acts of child sexual abuse were in a lower category on the scale of offending. The transmission was to adults and only adults. The conversations tend to disgust; they are offensive to read. While no actual children were abused in the offending the subject of the textual event, the legislation is directed at deterring the transmission and production of even this material. It is difficult to assess the impact on victims where the offending is substantially the creation of images, with words, in relatively private circumstances. It is perhaps only true to say that offending contributes, to some degree, to broader creation of distorted view of reality where children are viewed as appropriate sexual partners for adults. Where images are of real children, they must live with the fact that these images can now be traded, swapped and transmitted exponentially.  

Antecedents: Offender endured ongoing sexual abuse as a child including in an orphanage, and by their stepfather. Offender began drinking alcohol from 12 years old and consumption increased with age. Offender has been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. Psychologist outlined how sexual abuse endured as a young person might have led to development of deviant sexual interests as an adult. Childhood abuse also contributed to offender being targeted for sexual abuse by stranger males in subsequent life. Early abusive relationships and later sexual experience as an adult appear to be entwined. The child abuse offender endured in their history left is mark upon them and the effect of that does not diminish over time.  

Offender sentenced to 14 months imprisonment to be released forthwith on recognizance release order.
The CSD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

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