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R v Castellarin [2021] NSWDC 571

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of using a carriage service to access child pornography material contrary to s 474.19(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Offending was serious and sophisticated. Offender downloaded a large amount of child abuse material comprising 24 videos and 1,183 images over a four hour period. The material involved actual children of a very young age involved in and witnessing sexual activity. Offender used a tor browser both to conceal his conduct from his employer and to make the process of downloading difficult to trace by the authorities. Given the offender’s experience in the IT industry, and their participation in the security committee overseeing the employer’s systems, the offender intentionally embarked on accessing the material.

Contrition: Notwithstanding that the offender initially denied the offending to please and minimise his conduct to the psychologist, the offender has now shown insight into the impact of their offending on potential victims and the broader impact of child abuse material on the community. Offender has demonstrated some contrition for their offending. Offender gave an account of offending that minimised involvement in offending to a significant degree.

General Deterrence: There is a significant public interest in protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse, and offences of this type are increasingly prevalent in the community. Such offending is difficult to detect, particularly given the use of software programs that allow access to the dark web and the anonymity with which such crimes are committed.

Offender sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, to be released on recognizance release order after 9 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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