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DPP (Cth) v Gorniakowski [2021] VCC 743

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 1 count of using a carriage service to cause child abuse material to be transmitted to self contrary to s 474.22(1)(a)(ii) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, 1 count of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material contrary to s 474.22(1)(a)(iii) 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.  

Victim of Offence: There are no known victims of offending conduct however there must be hundreds of sexually abused children depicted in material transmitted, made available and possessed. In making child abuse material available to others, offender increased number of people who would view that material and thereby increased victimisation of the children depicted.  

Nature and Circumstances: While offending overall lasted only some six days, in light of the grave nature of many of the images and video files transmitted, made available and possessed each offence is a serious example of the offence charged. Material was particularly grave in nature largely depicting children under 13 years old. By active participation in exchange, offender contributed to market for material, perpetuated its dissemination and contributed to further exploitation. Offender gained benefit by trading in that they received videos and images to view themselves and no doubt trade with others online. It is not mitigatory that offender did not otherwise profit from or pay for the child abuse material.  

Rehabilitation: Offender instructed counsel that the offending occurred in context of drinking alcohol with consequent significant lowering of inhibitions. There is a degree of scepticism regarding this explanation. It is to the offender’s credit that they have actively engaged in alcohol and drug counselling and psychological treatment. Offender has been abstinent for alcohol and developed insight into reasons for offending. Only a cautious approach can be adopted at this stage to ultimate prospects of rehabilitation as they will ultimately depend on successful completion of appropriate treatment.  

Offender sentenced to 3 years imprisonment to be released after 18 months on recognisance 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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