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DPP v Watson [2021] VCC 1874

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 4 counts of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material contrary to s 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offender was sentenced for additional state offences.

Nature and Circumstances: Offending lacked many of the aggravating features often seen in this type of offending and could be explained by the offender’s impoverished social skills and intimacy deficits but is nonetheless serious. Offender actively pursued underage females online over a period of time. Offending can be characterised as predatory, or at least deliberate and persistent. Offending is a low to mid-range example of soliciting child abuse material. Offender’s moral culpability is high.

Rehabilitation: Offender is of good character and has no relevant criminal history. Offender’s family support, good work ethic and preparedness to engage in counselling renders the offender’s prospects for rehabilitation to be good and their risk of reoffending moderate. Notwithstanding the disgrace and shame caused by the reporting of this matter, specific deterrence is still engaged given the ongoing nature of the offending.

Offender sentenced to 2 years and 2 months imprisonment, to be released after 12 months on recognisance of $3,000.
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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