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DPP (Cth) v Anderson [2021] VCC 2014

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

Nature and Circumstances: There were a relatively small number of images accessed sporadically. Material was purely for offenders own purposes and not for sale or distribution and offender did not stand to make any financial gain. When downloaded there were many images on one file, such that there was not a constant downloading of material. The material which was procured fell into Categories 1 and 2 of the Interpol scale. This is serious disturbing imagery.

Rehabilitation: Offender resigned position with Australian Border Force. Prospects of rehabilitation are reasonably positive. Offender has previously engaged with mental health practitioners and recognises the need for such treatment. Offender has impressive work history. Offender is obviously intelligent and does not suffer from any substance abuse or have any cognitive difficulties which would impede rehabilitation.

Conditional Release Orders: Section 20(1)(b)(iii) stipulates that a person convicted of a Commonwealth child sex offence be jailed immediately unless the Court is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist. Counsel for offender said that past history of being sexually abused and psychological injury suffered during period of offending amount to exceptional circumstances. The factors necessary to support a finding of exceptional circumstances do not exist in this case.

Offender sentenced to 2 years and 6 months imprisonment to be released on recognisance after 5 months.    
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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