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R v Minson [2022] ACTSC 46

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 5 counts of possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service contrary to s 474.22A of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and 1 count of using a carriage service to access to child abuse material contrary to s 474.22 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Offending involved significant volumes of material, including thousands of images and hundreds of hours of video. The nature of acts portrayed in the material are such that the children would have been significantly harmed by their involvement in its creation, including significant, long-term psychological harm. Accessing charge occurred over a two-and-a-half-week period and involved a moderate level of sophistication. Offending is above the mid-range of objective seriousness for each of the offences. There was, however, no evidence of the offender being more than a consumer of such child abuse material.

Guilty Plea: Offender entered pleas of guilty at the first reasonable opportunity. Offending is not a case in which victims or lay witnesses would have been required to give evidence at a trial. Because of the strength of the prosecution case, a reduction of approximately 20 percent on the sentences that would otherwise have been imposed rather than a reduction of 25 percent is appropriate.

Rehabilitation: Offender’s previous conviction and admissions as to access child abuse material via the internet intermittently for approximately 20 years indicates that the prospects of rehabilitation must be considered to be guarded. That assessment is reinforced by the offender’s inability to explain their desire to access to material and what they report as a sense of guilt at doing so. Offender’s rehabilitation is only likely to be successful if there are programs available within the prison targeted at sexual offending involving child abuse material as opposed to sexual offending involving physical interactions with other humans.  

Offender sentenced to 7 years and 5 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years and 5 months imprisonment.
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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