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DPP v Baron [2023] VCC 956

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 2 counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material contrary to s 474.22(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, 2 counts of using a carriage service to make available 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: Offender accessed 6,018 images and 1,264 videos. The access counts cover one course of conduct for the entire period. The access counts relate to 38 videos in June 2020 and 221 videos in December 2020. Offender’s devices were found to contain a total of 925 child abuse material files. The nature and content of the images, the sexual activity depicted, is of the worst classification. Offender accessed and possessed over 8,000 child abuse files. This is a significant quantity. Offender distributed child abuse material to others and offended over a protracted period of 17 months.

Rehabilitation: Offender has taken significant and remarkable steps to rehabilitate themselves. Offender has completed a 15 session Forensicare program to address accessing child abuse material. The treatment summary states that offender derived benefit from the group sessions and appears to have developed insight into their offending. Offender also engaged with the Goulburn Valley Alcohol and Drug Service therapeutic rehabilitation program to address alcohol and drug dependencies. Offender has undertaken ongoing counselling to deal with anxiety and stress created by the legal process and to develop insight into their offending in order to attempt to prevent recidivism. Offender has had these matters hanging over their head for over 2 years and has not simply waited but has taken meaningful steps towards their rehabilitation. Offender has demonstrated remorse and their future prospects are good. They are unlikely to reoffend provided that they continue to get appropriate treatment and support.

Offender sentenced to 2 years and 9 months imprisonment to be released after 10 months on recognizance of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for 2 years and 6 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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