Black Rock offender wins reprieve

7 Dec 10 @ 01:05am by Jon Andrews

A BLACK Rock man convicted of possessing “cruel”, “disturbing” and “repugnant” child porn movies has escaped jail.

Dominic Heenan, 25, was instead given a 12-month intensive corrections order at a County Court appeal.

The former cafe owner appealed against a six-month custodial sentence handed down by a Moorabbin magis Leg 1 trate in late August. At the County Court last Tuesday, Judge Gabriele Cannon said the movies, held on a back-up computer disc, were “sickening”.

She accepted testimony from psychologists that Heenan was immature and sexually curious when he downloaded the “cruel” films, and unlikely to reoffend.

“As repugnant as the images are and as disturbing as it is, he does have an insight now and it would be a backward step to put him in jail,” forensic psychologist Pamela Matthews said.

Heenan’s defence lawyer, Anthony Lewis, said he was of otherwise good character and should be allowed to stay in the community.

He said press coverage (“Child porn case appeal,” Bayside Leader, September 7) had made his life unbearable and cost him a future cafe business.

“The result of that is he has found himself to be loathed by the people around him,” he said.

Crown prosecutor Amber Harris said the movies were “acts of violation” and the sentence should reflect the “horror the community felt”.

Heenan had already been convicted and placed on a sex offenders’ register for eight years.

The intensive corrections order means he must report to police, undergo counselling and do unpaid community work.

Child porn case appeal

8 Sep 10 @ 08:00am by Jon Andrews

A BLACK Rock man is appealing a jail sentence handed down after he was found with horrific images of child pornography.

Dominic Heenan, 25, pleaded guilty at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday for producing and possessing child pornography, and having an unlicensed handgun.

The hospitality worker has appealed his six month jail sentence and been released on bail, with the case to be heard on November 30.

Heenan was arrested after a Black Rock property was raided by detectives in October last year.

In a shed they found the CD, which had sexually explicit films downloaded from the internet, and the handgun.

In court, police prosecutor Sen-Constable Steve Eley said the disc contained pornography involving children being forced to commit indecent acts against their will.

“The films do depict terrible abuse of children over an extended period of time,” Sen-Constable Eley said.

Defence solicitor Josh Taaffe said although the pornography images were serious, they were not of the most depraved kind.

“We are not suggesting the material isn’t serious, but it doesn’t fall into the depraved category,” Mr Taaffe said. “The age of these victims was between eight and 12. But the most depraved categories include children that are aged three months old.”

Magistrate Thomas Barrett said a jail term was appropriate.

“I sentence you to six months’ imprisonment – it would have been nine months if you had not pleaded guilty,” Mr Barrett said.

Heenan was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for eight years.


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