Site Logo

DPP v Schaeche [2022] VCC 2331

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 1 count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse materials contrary to s 474.22(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, 1 count of using a carriage service to cause child abuse material to be transmitted to themselves 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: Count 1 relates to 47 videos: 13 were classified as ACACS Category 1 and 34 videos as Category 2 child abuse material. Count 2 relates to offender causing 137 videos being sent to themselves, resulting in 70 videos classified as Category 1 and 67 videos classified as Category 2.  Count 3 relates to 353 videos and 99 images, of which 5 images and 140 videos were Category 1 and 94 images and 213 videos were Category 2. Although the amount of material is not large in comparison to many of the cases that have come before the court, the offending cannot be viewed as a ‘one off, spontaneous error of judgment’ as offending went on for slightly over 2 months. In that time, offender received child abuse material that is hard to comprehend in terms of its depravity.

Mental Condition: Psychologist initially found that offender fell within the moderate range for depression, anxiety and, stress. In offender’s last session with psychologist, they fell into the normal range. Psychologist says that the possibility of paedophilia cannot be dismissed but it would appear likely that the paraphilia termed hebephilia and/or ephebophilia are more applicable. Psychologist is not of the opinion that a term of imprisonment would prove to be of greater hardship for offender than it would be for any first time offender who does not have an antisocial disposition. Although the circumstances of offender’s isolation and depression are explanatory of how a person of previously good character became involved in offending, the evidence of offender’s mental health conditions is not sufficient to engage principle 1 of Verdins.

Rehabilitation: Offender has no prior convictions and was a person of good character. Since their offending, offender has developed a deeper understanding of the seriousness of their offending. Offender has demonstrated remorse by entering pleas of guilty at the earliest opportunity. Offender cooperated with police, making full and drank admissions regarding offending when requested and providing the PIN to their phone. Cooperation is a significant factor in offender’s favour. Offending was committed in the context where offender was impacted by the lockdowns caused by the pandemic.

Offender sentenced to 16 months imprisonment to be released in 3 months on recognizance of $2,000 to be of good behaviour for 3 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.

© 2023 The National Judicial College of Australia (NJCA). Powered by

Privacy Policy|Terms and Conditions