Laurence Templar D’Alessandro

Posted: October 25, 2012 by Serendipity in Victoria

Judge blasts ‘inadequate’ child porn sentence

  • by Staff Writers
  • From: Herald Sun
  • March 25, 2010 8:32AM
  • Man had 16,000 of “the worst” images
  • Included toddlers, children bound, nude
  • Given suspended sentence at trial

THE Victorian Court of Appeal has taken a hard line against “the evil” of child pornography by throwing out a “manifestly inadequate” suspended sentence given to a man who possessed thousands of images of child sexual abuse and instead handing down a three-year jail term.

Laurence D’Alessandro, 25, pleaded guilty last year in the County Court of Victoria to six charges of accessing, possessing and transmitting more than 16,000 images of child pornography, including photographs of victims as young as three months, and images of naked children aged between eight and 12 tied and bound in restraints.

Despite County Court judge Jim Duggan commenting at the time that it “was difficult to convey the full horror of many of those images” and categorising the photographs as “the very worst” of pornographic images, he granted D’Alessandro a two-year wholly suspended sentence.

In a strongly worded judgment in response to a sentencing appeal launched by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, judge David Harper castigated the sentence as being manifestly inadequate.  He said the sentencing judge had allowed general deterrence to “slip through almost without trace.”

“The courts can and must do more,” Justice Harper said in his reasons for allowing the appeal, Melbourne’s Herald Sun reported.

“The evil that is the making and distribution of pornographic images involving children is so great, and so comparatively common, and so readily facilitated by modern technology, that every attempt must be made to limit its scope and range – indeed, to eliminate it altogether, if that is possible.”

Justice Harper added: “There is indeed something deeply inhuman in treating another human as the mere object by which one’s crudest and most selfish cravings are satisfied.”

The Court of Appeal ruled that Judge Duggan had placed too much weight on D’Alessandro’s youth and his naivety. Justice Harper said nobody of the respondent’s age could be “so naive as not to appreciate that child pornography depicts seriously exploitative deviance.”

While it was noted that the offender did not trade the images for profit, Justice Harper said D’Alessandro lacked empathy, had admitted to a psychiatrist that he classified his behaviour at the “minor end of the spectrum” and had not given much thought to the feelings of those depicted in the images because they did not look upset.

“A substantial wrong has occurred in this case,” Justice Harper said.

The Court of Appeal resentenced D’Alessandro to three years’ jail, with a minimum of two years, after which he can be released on a $100 good behaviour bond.


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