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R v Reynolds [2023] NSWDC 152

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(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 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Objective seriousness for the offending in count 1 falls towards the middle of the low range of an offence pursuant to that section. Offending involved 2 videos that depicted actual children who appeared to be aged between 12 and 14 years. Offender deliberately used a sophisticated method to transmit the child abuse material, using end-to-end encryption to minimise the risk of detection. Offender transmitted the video files to a likeminded user, encouraging their sexual interest in children whilst gratifying offender’s own. The one factor that leads to a finding that the offending fell below the midrange for a transmission offence pursuant to s 474.22(1) of the Code is that the offence is confined to the 2 videos only. Objective seriousness for count 2 falls towards the upper end of the midrange. Offending included 111 images and 6 video files identified as child abuse material on offender’s iPhone. A further 1.24 terabytes of data was located in the MEGA cloud storage application on that phone, and review of the material was ceased once 1,000 images and 50 videos were identified. Offending took place over a period of three months. There was some sophistication to the offending demonstrated by the offender’s concealment of the material on their iPhone in a secure storage area.

Mental Condition: Offender suffered numerous sexual assaults which they never disclosed to their family or police. For approximately five years before their arrest offender was involved in a dysfunctional and abusive relationship during which the index offending occurred. Offender diagnosed with OCD and PTSD which have been untreated since 1997. There is no direct causal nexus with those mental health diagnoses and the offending here. Rather they provide context by way of background and explanation for the offender being in an abusive relationship in which they were isolated from their support network and during which they made conscious and deliberate decisions to offend.

Rehabilitation: Given the chronic nature of the offender’s diagnoses arising from childhood sexual trauma and adult sexual trauma the offender’s prospects of rehabilitation could only be characterised as guarded. Offender has made progress with their rehabilitation under the treatment regime of a psychologist. Statistically offender is at a low to medium risk of reoffending and although they presented with a number of dynamic risk factors, including sexual deviance, offender’s risk of sexually reoffending is below average.

Offender sentenced to 2 years and 10 months of imprisonment, to be released after 1 year and 6 months on recognizance of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for 16 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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