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DPP v Frangou [2022] VCC 1651

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

Nature or Circumstances: The images exchanged and stored appear to depict actual children. The text conversation were offender’s fantasies which were the product of a disordered mind. The images of children include penetrative images of children by adult males. Penetrative images are especially serious. Offender possessed several such images, but no other form of cruelty is referred to. In the case of possession, the significance lies more in the number of different children depicted. In this case, there are less than 100 images, apparently discrete rather than copies. The indication is that the number of children is relatively small. The text conversations about fictitious children were relatively few. The images were transmitted to 2 others. The conversations were with several others. The level of distribution is modest. The degree of planning and sophistication is low. There is no evidence of payment or any other material benefit nor any direct connection between offender and those responsible for bringing the material into existence. Each offence is below mid-range seriousness for the offences charged and counts 1 and 2 are well below.

Rehabilitation: Offender was under a great deal of personal stress at time of offending. Psychologist opined that offender does not present with paedophilic disorder. Psychologist viewed offender’s risk of reoffending has reduced from moderate, at the time of their arrest, to low. Offender has expressed their genuine remorse and has good prospects of rehabilitation.

Hardship: There was publicity surrounding charges against offender. Offender was asked to leave their employment as a result of that publicity. Although offender’s employment did not involve contact with children, the poor publicity would not have been helpful to their employers. Offender’s bank refused to have offender as a client due to the charges. The loss of employment is a significant loss personally, professionally, and financially. The attitude of offender’s bank is unusual and requires significant reorganisation.

Offender sentenced to 3 months imprisonment to be released immediately on recognizance of $4,000 to be of good behaviour for 2 years and 6 months. Offender ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty in the amount of $5,000.
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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