Archive for the ‘Suspended Sentence’ Category


Sept. 9, 2009, 12:02 p.m.

A MALDON man has escaped a jail term despite being convicted of downloading more than 40 hours of child pornography videos and 500 illegal images.Rodney Peter Smith, 28, was sentenced to 18 months’ jail – wholly suspended for two years – by County Court Judge Lance Pilgrim on Tuesday.The maximum penalty for using the internet to access child pornography is 10 years and for possessing child pornography the maximum is a five-year jail term.The Australian Federal Police, who were responsible for Smith’s arrest, were unable to comment on sentencing, as was the office of the Attorney-General.Judge Pilgrim also handed out a $1000 good behaviour bond and ordered Smith to perform 150 hours of community work.Smith was arrested in October 2008 by the AFP in an international operation in collaboration with Brazilian authorities.Operation Resistance netted 23 men in NSW, Victoria and Queensland and more than 200 people in 70 countries.Smith pleaded guilty at his committal hearing in April and was released on bail. His bail conditions included not accessing the internet and residing in his Maldon home.The AFP operation also resulted in former Queen’s Counsel Neil James Williams of Newham being jailed for two years, with a minimum of six months after pleading guilty to possessing, accessing and transmitting child pornography.Williams could be back in the community as early as next month. His charges span a 12-year period and include more than 10,000 images and 250 videos. Smith’s library of pornography included images of prepubescent girls involved in sexual acts with themselves, boys, adults and animals. Some images included babies.Prosecutors submitted that an immediate jail term was warranted and the lack of a custodial term angered victims of crime groups and child protection organisations.Carol Ronken, from child protection advocates Bravehearts, said jail was needed for those possessing or producing child porn.“These offenders are not being held accountable for their actions,” Ms Ronken said.“The message that seems to be coming out is that these (offences) are not being treated seriously.”People Against Lenient Sentencing spokesman Steve Medcraft said the judiciary should be sending a message to the community by imposing jail terms.“Sex offenders should not have the luxury of suspended sentences”.


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No jail for man seeking sex with 13yo

Updated Thu May 2, 2013 10:53am AEST

A Hobart man who sent sexually suggestive Facebook messages to a 13-year-old girl he befriended online has avoided jail.

The Supreme Court in Hobart heard Christopher Craig Banks befriended the girl on Facebook last September.

The pair exchanged more than 1,500 messages mainly through Facebook over the next two months.

The prosecution told the court Banks, 30, asked the girl for sex and “hot” photos and also offered to find her a younger boyfriend.

Banks pleaded guilty to communicating with intent to procure a person under 17 to engage in an unlawful sex act.

The court heard Banks has a psychotic illness and was charged after telling medical staff he had a teenage girlfriend.

Justice Peter Evans imposed a three month prison term, but suspended all of it.

Tasmania’s Sexual Assault Support Service says such cases are not uncommon.

Spokeswoman Liz Little says the case should serve as a warning of the dangers of social media.

She says while it is increasingly common, awareness is increasing and more offenders are being caught.

“All parents and all young people should be aware that these types of sexual predators are out there places in terms of places like Facebook,” she said.

Suspended term over child porn videos

23 November 2010 | 06:17:09 PM | Source: AAP

A 62-year-old South Australian man was caught with more than 7500 child porn pictures and videos on a home computer after federal police were tipped off, a court has heard.

Geoffrey Alan Slater, from Goolwa, south of Adelaide, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and using a carriage service to access child pornography.

Imposing sentence in the SA District Court on Tuesday, Judge David Lovell said Slater had uploaded seven videos to a child porn internet site in September and November last year, drawing the attention of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children who contacted federal police.

The judge said of all the material found on Slater’s computer, 28 images and five videos were in the most serious category.

The worst video featured a boy aged about 10 who had been tied up and was being raped by an adult.

Judge Lovell said Slater’s offending was serious.

“There is clearly an international market in child pornography and those who are a part of the market for this material share the responsibility for what is done to the children depicted,” he said.

“The courts have said on a number of occasions that the creation and dissemination of child pornography material is a serious social evil, and those who acquire and use such material must be held accountable for the part they play in the persistence of it.”

The judge jailed Slater for 18 months with a non-parole period of six months.

He suspended the sentence, placing the man on a three-year good behaviour bond.


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Age:  55  –  2004

Location:  Mackay  –  Qld

Offence:  Pleaded guilty in the Mackay District Court to one count of making an objectionable computer game and two counts of possessing objectionable computer games.

Sentence:  Sentenced to a wholly suspended three months’ jail.

Other:  Police found 225 photographs of naked girls aged between eight and 12 which had been purchased over the Internet and burned on to a compact disk, 281 pornographic images and 16 movies downloaded on to the computer.


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Offender pleads guilty


A LANGWARRIN man caught with more than 20,000 pages of child pornography has been handed a suspended sentence.

Georffrey Seeley, 46, pleaded guilty to two charges of knowingly possessing child porn at Frankston Magistrates’ Court last week.

The court heard how Seeley, who ran his driving school business Road Runners from his Grassmere Rd home, was a daily user on internet sex chat sites.

Police prosecutor Ross Thomas said the child pornography “of the worst kind” had been found on 10 different computers and hard drives, as well as printed material.

Defence lawyer Daniel McGlone said that “although people will recoil it’s important to have some understanding of how (Seeley) found himself in these circumstances”.

“Seeley was the lame duck of five children who all had successful lives, but … he was seen as a burden,” Mr McGlone said.

He also described his social skills as “wholly inadequate”.

A relationship led him to the darker sides of pornography, the court heard.

“He has always been productive in society, but this disjunction … became a feature of his relationships.”

A psychiatrist’s report said Seeley wasn’t a pedophile, the court heard.

Magistrate Graham Keil said he didn’t fully comprehend why Seeley did what he did.

“You have intelligence but no sympathy or empathy for the victims,” Mr Keil said.

Seeley was sentenced to 12 months’ jail, suspended for two years, and an 18-month community-based order.

Seeley will be on the sex offenders’ registry for eight years.


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Appeal sees punishment lifted for distributing net porn

  • by: Mark Oberhardt
  • From: The Courier-Mail
  • August 01, 2008 12:00AM

ATTORNEY-General Kerry Shine has won an appeal in which deterrence for those accessing child pornography on the internet was a major issue.

Mr Shine went to the Court of Appeal asking for an increase in a sentence imposed on Kieran Vincent Salsone so that convictions could be recorded against him.

In the District Court in Brisbane in March, Salsone, 22, pleaded guilty to distributing child exploitation material and possessing child exploitation material, in November and December, 2006.

The court was told police had used a “peer-to-peer” program to search the internet for child pornography and were able to download images from an IP address.

Police tracked the IP address to a house at Carina, in Brisbane’s east, where Salsone had been living. They found a computer tower which belonged to Salsone.

The court was told that, after being interviewed by police, Salsone admitted he had six video files and 122 child exploitation images. The videos involved sexual acts by children with adults and other children.

Salsone was sentenced to three years probation with no convictions recorded.

Mr Shine appealed on the grounds deterrence was so important convictions had to be recorded.
In an unanimous judgment released today, the Court of Appeal upheld Mr Shine’s appeal.

Salsone was resentenced to a wholly susended 15 months jail term combined with probation and convictions were recorded on both counts.

“The offences were so serious and the need for deterrence so great that convictions should have been recorded on each count,” the Court of Appeal’s President Maragret McMurdo said.


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Location:  Kingaroy/Sunshine Coast  –  Qld

Offence:  Pleaded guilty yesterday to having 3763 child porn images, videos or graphics on his computer

Sentence:  18 months probation and a $2000 good behaviour bond for two years on the Commonwealth charge of using the internet to access child pornography. Also sentenced to 12 months in jail on the state charge of possessing child exploitation material suspended for two years.

Other:  Was a former High School teacher whose computer was tagged within six minutes of logging on to a Croatian site.

Porn teacher admits guilt

Six minutes was all it took for federal police to nail John Farnsworth Saint Smith’s paedophile activity.

The Kingaroy State High School teacher of 22 years, who now lives on the Sunshine Coast, spent that time on a Croatian child porn site that had been tagged by the Commonwealth.

Federal police notified detective senior constable Adam Fairhurst and he took action.

The officer knocked on the door of Mr Saint Smith, 59, who admitted to the offence. He was one of three teachers charged during the national paedophile busts in June last year.

At a Kingaroy Magistrates Court hearing yesterday, Mr Saint Smith’s lawyer, Frank Martin, said his client would plead guilty to the charges of having kiddy porn on his computer as soon as the forensic testing was done.

More than 1000 porn images have been found. An undetermined number involve children thought to be aged between five and 17 years.

When Det Constable Fairhurst executed his search warrant, Mr Saint Smith was said to have used the words “stupid” and “infatuation’’ to explain his actions.

He told the senior constable he had seven images on his computer but it is now thought there are at least 43, along with 70 banner ads for child porn and sex sites, and six video files.

Forensic IT expert Michael Tarnawsky is trawling through the images to find what Mr Saint Smith viewed, when he looked at it, and for how long, and to determine if he saved the files or sent them on to other people.

The work is expected to be finished by the end of August and the images will be graded.

If they involve torture, cruelty or bestiality they will be given a rating of one under the Queensland Police grading system.

Adult pornography is given a ranking of seven and anything tagged as an eight or higher can be disregarded.

An animated level six image was viewed by the court after it was closed to the media.

The defence lawyers, magistrate Graham Buckley, the Commonwealth Prosecution’s legal officer Kila Pedder, Mr Tarnawsky and Mr Saint Smith then spent the next 50 minutes viewing the images so far captured and discussing the evidence around them.

Mr Martin said he would put Mr Saint Smith’s intention to plead guilty on the record.

“He’s not going to plead guilty today because the officer hasn’t completed his investigation into all the images and agreement on a set of facts has to be laid out,’’ Mr Martin said.

“My client accepts he had possession of child pornography and accessed child pornography under the Commonwealth charges.’’

Mr Saint Smith, who was given bail, will face court again for sentencing on a date to be set.


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Judge’s lament on porn sentence

  • Sarah-Jane Collins
  • June 19, 2008

A BIZARRE child pornography case has prompted the County Court chief to criticise the inability of judges to send offenders for treatment before sentencing.

“I find it a regrettable process that services are not available for persons such as you prior to the end of the sentencing process,” Chief Judge Michael Rozenes told Gregg Lindsay Rowbury yesterday.

Rowbury, 48, of Murrumbeena, pleaded guilty in the County Court to using a carriage service to obtain child pornography, possessing controlled child pornography and knowingly possessing child pornography.

But Chief Judge Rozenes said Rowbury’s case was complicated by his unusual and complex sexual identity.

He said forensic psychologist Dr Pamela Matthews diagnosed Rowbury with transvestic fetishism and autogynephillia, conditions that caused him to create “sexual fantasies of being a female child in nappies”.

Chief Judge Rozenes said that he accepted that the 50,000-odd child porn images were used by Rowbury to enable him to fantasise about himself. “(Dr Matthews) said you used the pictures to build your own sexual activities,” he said. “She said you had not stopped to consider that the girls were being sexually exploited.”

Chief Judge Rozenes said he would have preferred to have sentenced Rowbury after he had completed a sex offenders’ rehabilitation program, so that he could have seen what difference it had made to his condition.

But the system does not allow judges to impose such programs on offenders prior to sentencing.

He said that when police searched Rowbury’s home they were alarmed at the state of it. They found it unfit to live in, containing buckets of faeces and urine as well as rotting and decomposing soiled nappies.

The chief judge said that although some of the images in Rowbury’s possession were of serious sexual abuse and exploitation of girls as young as five, he had not distributed or created the pictures and his use of them was different to that of most people who chose to download child pornography.

“It is not images of children that are sexually arousing but mental images of yourself as a female child … that were sexually arousing to you.”

Because of Rowbury’s diagnosis, Chief Judge Rozenes did not impose an immediate jail term.

He sentenced Rowbury to an 18-month suspended sentence and an 18-month community-based order, and ordered him to undertake a sex offenders rehabilitation course.


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Man groomed girl, 14, for sex

Andrew Korner | 19th May 2009

A SEX offender’s conversion to Christianity has helped spare him from a jail sentence for the abuse of two Ipswich girls.

Brett Richard Ritchie, 40, committed sexual offences against two girls aged 14 and 13 at Redbank Plains.

Ipswich District Court heard Ritchie, who was known to both his victims, had spent weeks grooming the 14-year-old for sex.

Prosecutor Stephan McMurray said Ritchie had constantly asked the girl to have sex with him, also suggesting she write him “dirty” letters.

Ritchie finally had sexual intercourse with the girl at a sleepover party on September 10, 2000.

Earlier in the same year, Ritchie molested the 13-year-old girl on two occasions.

The court was told Ritchie had fled in 2001, but now pleaded guilty to a charge of carnal knowledge with a child under 16 and two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

Mr McMurray asked Judge Greg Koppenol to consider a jail term for the offences.

But defence barrister Geoff Seaholme said his client – who now lives in Shepparton, Victoria – was a “changed man”, free of the drug and alcohol addiction that once ruled his life.

At one stage, defence counsel claimed, Ritchie had an $800 a day drug habit involving cannabis, methylamphetamine and cocaine.

Ritchie could not remember committing the offences against the two young girls, Mr Seaholme said.

In 2002 he gave up drugs and became a Christian, eventually gaining qualifications as a counsellor to those who were addicted to drugs and alcohol.

“Had this man appeared before Your Honour nine years ago, you might have seen a completely different man,” Mr Seaholme said.

“He has gone from being a drug and alcohol dependent person to someone who now helps others with drug and alcohol dependency.”

In sentencing, Judge Koppenol said it was important to remember the devastating, lasting effect Ritchie’s actions would have on his victims.

Those who sexually abused young children, Ritchie was reminded, should ordinarily expect to spend time behind bars.

But Judge Koppenol found there was adequate proof that Ritchie had changed.

Ritchie was sentenced to 12 months jail, wholly suspended for 18 months.


Age:  40  –  2009

Location:  Alstonville  –  NSW

Offence:  Pleaded guilty in Sutherland Local Court last week to two counts of possession of child pornography.

Sentence:  Sentenced to a 16-month suspended sentence in Wollongong Local Court.

Other:  Former teacher & head of creative arts at Lismore’s Trinity Catholic College.


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