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DPP v Morrissy [2022] VCC 1465

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 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, 1 count of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material contrary to s 474.22 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, and 1 count of possessing child abuse material contrary to s 474.22A of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Offending was a course of conduct over a period of a little over a month to transmit and solicit child abuse material. The offending on counts 1 and 2 occurred on three separate dates. The count 1 offending involved transmission of 39 images. 25 images were categorised as Interpol category 1 and 14 as category 2. The count 3 offending involves 85 images including 63 category 1 images. While the number of images held is at the lower end of the range, there is a significant number in the most serious category. Offending as a whole is at a lower range of seriousness but still very serious. Offender admitted that they had been accessing child pornography for 5 years. There is no evidence of commercial exploitation, and the duration of the activity is limited. Further, offender ceased accessing the material before they were the subject of a raid. The number of children victimised by this conduct must be a significant number given the number of still images and videos.

Rehabilitation: Offender has remorse for their conduct, although it appears that they have not actually taken any positive action to address the underlying psychological condition related to offending. Offender’s prospects for rehabilitation are reasonable, but it is clear from psychologist’s report that offender requires assistance to address their underlying depressive symptoms, and the use of alcohol and drugs as self-medication. In terms of offender’s prospects of recidivism, psychologist indicates that offender would benefit from psychological interventions and targeted programs for online offender and that they appear motivated to reform.

Offender sentenced to 18 months imprisonment to be released after 6 months on recognizance of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for 2 years.
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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