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DPP v Holman [2022] VCC 2293

Offender sentenced following pleas of guilty to 1 count of using a carriage service to cause offence contrary to s 474.17(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, 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 solicit 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. Offender also sentenced for 27 state counts of sexual assault and 3 state counts of producing child abuse material. Nature and Circumstances: In relation to the use of a carriage service to cause offence, offender on posted 3 explicit comments directed at young girls ages between 12 and 14 years and 2 further comments on photos of two girls. In relation to the transmit and solicit child abuse material offences, offender transmitted messages and 2 videos classified as Category 2 child abuse material. After sending the material, offender solicited similar content from an undercover operative. In relation to the possession offence, offender possessed 924 items of child abuse material including 32 videos. This is a moderately serious offence. Conversely, the number of images is not inordinate and that count relates to a single date. The gravity of the depictions here, while always troubling, are at the milder and of the spectrum. Mental Condition: Offender obtained their first computer at age 14 and quickly became obsessed with pornography. Since offender’s arrest, they have stopped using all online pornography and have disposed of any DVDs et cetera in their possession. Psychologist opined that offender met the diagnostic criteria for a ‘Fetishist disorder – sexually attracted to female clothing’. This disorder has caused offender considerable distress and emotional turmoil. Psychologist was unable to render a diagnosis of paedophilic disorder. The evidence does not reach the level to establish that Verdins limb 1 is enlivened. That is not to say it is not relevant and does not explain to some extent the offending. Offender’s symptoms are sufficient to meet the DSM-V criteria for both a Major Depressive Disorder and for a Panic Disorder. Limb 5 of Verdins is enlivened as offender’s pre-existing emotional issues are likely to intensify in the custodial environment. Offender’s progress in treatment is good, if incomplete. Rehabilitation: Psychologist opined that offender’s risk of recidivism falls in the moderate-to-high risk category. Offender’s expressions of remorse are genuine. Another factor which suggests a real insight into the potential for harm to victims and a genuine attempt to demonstrate their remorse is that they have made $650 worth of donations to an organisation dedicated to the victims of child sexual abuse between 17 September 2021 and 17 October 2022. Offender did not have to do that; it was a choice they made to outwardly express their deep regret. Offender’s prospects of rehabilitation are good. Offender sentenced for federal and state offences to 12 months imprisonment in addition to a 2.5 year Community Correction Order and a recognizance release order to be of good behaviour for 15 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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