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DPP (Cth) v Blok [2022] VCC 2073

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 1 count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age contrary to s 474.27A(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: Offender was in possession of a total of 930 video files and 634 image files of child abuse material. Within that collection there were 868 unique video files and 476 unique image files. The children depicted in the images are victims of offending. The content of the images is disturbing and repugnant. Offending was not isolated or an aberration because offender has the material in their possession for some time and acquired it over an extended period, and they had the material for sexual gratification. The number of photos and videos, while significant, is not particularly large comparative to what is often detected in cases such as this. Material was for offender’s personal use and they did not have any intention to produce, sell or distribute it. Offender was not involved in a network of collaborative likeminded offenders.

Mental Condition: Psychologist said offender suffers from chronic depression. This matter marginally decreases offender’s moral culpability. This factor cannot justify a significant reduction in offender’s moral culpability given the absence of a clear and direct connection to offending, and because it is not suggested that offender did not understand the wrongfulness of their conduct. Similarly, a modest reduction in the weight to be given to general deterrence is also appropriate. Incarceration will be more onerous for offender than someone without such a condition.

Rehabilitation: Offender’s absence of prior convictions is a factor in their favour in the assessment of their prospects of rehabilitation. However, offender’s denial of a sexual interest in children notwithstanding the facts of the case and offender’s disinterest in ‘mental health assistance’ mean offender’s prospects of rehabilitation are guarded. Any period of imprisonment will send a clear message to offender regarding the consequences of further offending of this nature. There is cause to have some optimism that offender will not reoffend.

Offender sentenced to 20 months imprisonment to be released after 8 months upon entering recognizance of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for 20 months with conditions.
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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