Posts Tagged ‘Interpol’



Justice Elkaim sentenced Sutton to two years’ imprisonment, to be suspended after 18 months upon entering a three-year good behaviour order.

He ordered Sutton to take part in the adult sex offender program. He will be released next June.

More than 4,000 child pornography files allegedly found on Canberra man’s hard drive

Updated 3 Dec 2016, 12:39pm

A Canberra man accused of storing thousands of child pornography files has been refused bail in the ACT Magistrates Court.

Mackenzie William Sutton, 36, was charged with two offences after a police search of his home in Nicholls on Friday.

The prosecutor told the court nearly 4,500 images and videos were found on a hard drive, mostly of girls between the ages of three and nine.

Two USB thumb drives were also located, which police said may have contained child pornography that had been deleted.

During questioning, Sutton told police he didn’t know where the images came from and suggested that “hackers” could have targeted him because he was a Donald Trump supporter.

Sutton’s defence attorney applied for bail, noting he had an inherited intellectual impairment and that he was not a likely flight risk.

But this was opposed by the prosecution, who said there was a risk of interference with evidence and of further offending.

TOR software used, raising dark web concerns

Senior constable Michael Harris, from ACT Policing, told the court all of the material appeared to have been downloaded in November 2016 alone and that this was “highly unusual”.

Senior Constable Harris said the fact that TOR software, which enables anonymous internet communication, was also found suggested Sutton was familiar with the dark web.

“The moment he gets on the internet he [would] be able to delete it … unrecoverable forever,” he said.

Senior Constable Harris also told the court internet restrictions would be almost impossible to police.

“I find it difficult to be certain that he would not access internet from any other device he picks up,” he said.

Sutton was denied bail and will return to court on December 20.

Man avoids jail time for child porn

Posted October 23, 2009 13:30:00

A Canberra judge has described sentencing an intellectually impaired man who downloaded thousands of child pornography images, as a difficult decision.

Mackenzie William Sutton, 29, pleaded guilty to accessing and possessing child pornography.

The ACT Supreme Court heard Interpol gave Australian police Sutton’s computer IP address after it was found to have accessed a Croation site under investigation.

Police seized Sutton’s computer in 2007 and found nearly 8,000 images and 116 videos featuring illicit images involving hundreds of children.

Justice Richard Refshauge sentenced him to two years jail but he will serve a three year good behaviour order with strict conditions instead of time in custody.

Justice Reshauge said although it was abhorrent, Sutton has a limited capacity to understand the nature of the offence.

He said he hopes the community understands the sentence was a very hard decision.


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Mara – Derek Richard - Sketcha

Queensland police operation wins international award for dismantling a child sex offender network

  • Brooke Baskin
  • From: The Courier-Mail
  • February 10, 2011 11:47AM

OPERATION Achilles, a Taskforce Argos operation that lead to the dismantling of an international child sex offender network, has won a major international award.

The team was named the winner of the annual International Law Enforcement Cybercrime Award 2011 by the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace in Canada.

The two-year operation resulted in the removal of more than 60 children from sexually abusive situations, the arrest of 22 network members across the globe, and the closure of four commercial child exploitation websites.

Significant arrests included 30-year-old Townsville postal worker Derek Richard Mara, who was sentenced to six years jail in March 2009.

Police investigations revealed the 30-year-old was a major player in a highly secretive web-based network.

Another Australian, a man from Victoria, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in 2008.

Fourteen United States-based offenders were sentenced to a minimum of 16 years imprisonment, with the majority receiving life sentences.

Two United Kingdom offenders were sentenced to between two and 25 years imprisonment.

Deputy commissioner specialist operations Ross Barnett said the Achilles team had made a number of significant achievements.

“Taskforce Argos is a team recognised around the world for its work in targeting and apprehending the predators who prey on children and use the internet as an instrument to distribute and trade their appalling child abuse material,” he said.

Operation Ice Beau, which closed last month, led to the arrest of 27 people on 163 charges including using the internet to procure children, sexual offences against children and possession and distribution of child exploitation material.

It identified a 13-year-old Leicestershire child and a 10-year-old Russian child from seized child exploitation photos and videos. Both children were identified and rescued from further abuse.

A further six Russian children were subsequently identified and removed from sexual exploitation.

Australia Post manager helped run child porn ring

Amelia Bentley

July 24, 2009 – 2:15PM

An Australia Post worker found to have almost 80,000 child porn files in his home computer was a “core member” of a sophisticated online child pornography ring, a court has heard.

Derek Richard Mara, 30, a former postman and Australia Post human resources manager, was jailed for six years for his role in administrating a network of people with an interest in child pornography by the use of internet newsgroups.

He was sentenced in March this year in Townsville District Court where he pleaded guilty to three charges of using the internet to access and transmit child pornography between 2006 and 2009 and one charge of recording an indecent visual image of a child under the age of 16 between December 2007 and February 2008.

His sentencing judge described Mara’s collection of child porn as “a cache of depravity” and said he was shocked and disturbed by the material, some of which involved babies being sexually abused.

Of his six-year sentence, Mara was ordered to serve 32 months before he was to be released.

But Mara, a married father of three children, lodged an application for leave to appeal his sentence in the Queensland Court of Appeal.

In a judgement published today, the court dismissed his application, ruling the sentence was not excessive.

The court was told the group traded in a large quantity of child porn as well as purchasing and commissioning the production of child porn. The material was posted to newsgroups as files which were unable to be viewed by anyone who did have a “key” which involved sophisticated encryption and three levels of security.

In a bid to avoid detection, the group frequently changed nicknames used by members and constantly moved the newsgroup location but in January 2006 police infiltrated the group, which had 43 members.

Over nearly two years, officers collected more than 444,000 images and 1,100 video files of child porn which had been loaded up or advertised for use by the group.

In February last year, Mara was arrested and on an external hard drive of his computer police found 75,706 images of child porn and 763 video files of child porn.

Officers also recovered 1,206 images of child porn which had been deleted and 13 images as well as 40 movie files of child porn on his computer’s internal drive.

Inspecting his computer, it was revealed he had uploaded at least 116 video files of child porn for the group’s use between January 2006 and May 2007.

Paedophile gets six years jail for depravity


March 6th, 2009

THE Townsville-based key member of an international computer paedophile group, former postal worker Derek Richard Mara, has been jailed for six years. 

The Commonwealth prosecutor had asked for four-and-a-half years, but in a rare move, Judge Stuart Durward SC decided that that wasn’t enough for a man he described as having `a cruel, unnatural and disgusting perversion’.

Mara, 30, pleaded guilty to three counts of sending and receiving paedophile images after he was scooped up in a coordinated international crackdown on the group trading in hard-core child images and movies through a high-security computer system.

Mara was one of the four core members of the operation, known simply as The Group, who in 2004 helped set up sophisticated security systems using uncrackable encrypted codes to avoid detection.

After gathering information bit by bit over two years, a cyber detective with Queensland’s anti-paedophile Taskforce Argos managed to infiltrate the group in January 2006.

It took from January to August that year for the undercover agent to get a one-on-one password partner, giving him greater access to group messages.

One message, from a group member nicknamed Fannie Farmer, started out: “OK folks, this is the one you’ve been waiting for, the Daphne extra special video”.

After giving other financial information about the file, the message ended: “I probably don’t need to add that this video must remain your deepest, darkest secret. Do not EVER share it”.

Taskforce Argos passed this information and file on to Interpol, and as a result the child Daphne was traced and rescued, and arrests made in Belgium and Italy.

In February last year, Queensland police and FBI experts in the United States had fully identified Mara, and detectives raided Mara’s home and seized his computer and files.

The charges to which he pleaded arose from examination of the seized materials and interviews with him.

Judge Durward signalled his intentions early when he opened proceedings yesterday by asking both prosecution and defence counsel to make submissions that four-and-a-half years `may not be sufficient to reflect the gravity of the offending’.

While submissions were made from both sides that four-and-a-half years should be the top of the range, and the actual amount of time to be served should be the factor to be varied, the judge was unmoved and unconvinced.

`What you did was abhorrent,”  he told Mara.

“Ordinary members of the community would recoil in horror at the level of depravity if they knew what you had done.”

In a rare personal statement from the bench Judge Durward, commenting on the few images that had been handed up to him by counsel, said: “I was shocked and disturbed at what I saw”.

He noted the psychiatric report which described Mara as a Jekyll and Hyde character who had from time to time tried to leave the group, but had always returned, the judge observing `with some enthusiasm’.

In the end, balancing the different requirements of Queensland and Commonwealth law, the judge imposed a six-year sentence, directing that Mara be released on a three-year good behaviour bond and 18 months probation after serving 32 months.


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George Duncan Laurie

Posted: December 16, 2012 by Serendipity in Queensland
Tags: , , ,

Men jailed over child porn trade

Rae Wilson | 20th September 2011

A MAROOCHYDORE judge who said child pornography offences were increasing “exponentially” sent a stern warning yesterday as he jailed two offenders for supporting the “evil trade”.

Judge John Robertson said George Duncan Laurie, 53, and Benjamin James Stanley, 27, had to be jailed to deter other like-minded people and protect the community.

He said the act encouraged the “exploitation and corruption of children unable to protect themselves”.

“If people like you are prepared to download these images … this encourages those around the world involved in this evil trade of creating child pornography,” he said.

“Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week there are operations going on designed to seek out this kind of behaviour.

“People who behave like this late at night and think they are alone should know that they are being watched and there is a reasonable chance they will be detected.”

Laurie, from Ringtail Creek, was caught with 1180 child porn images, mostly children in sexual poses.

He had 95 images in the most “depraved” categories involving adult penetration, sadism and bestiality.

Laurie was caught when Interpol tracked down the IP addresses of people who downloaded child porn from a hacked Croatian website.

The court heard Laurie led “quite a sad and lonely life”.

He told police looking at the images gave him “a bit of a buzz”..

An 18-month jail term will be suspended after four months.

Stanley, from Nambour, was caught with 14,707 images, including “distressing” material showing “a pre-walking child”.

About 87% depicted children aged 12 to 14 posing sexually.

There were movies depicting penetrative sexual activity with children aged six to 12 years, including some bondage and humiliation.

The court heard that Stanley, who was ordered to serve four months’ jail and two years of probation, was socially isolated and depressed.

World Interpol investigation

  • Croatian astronomy website hacked with child porn images
  • Hacked site received 12 million hits worldwide
  • 144,285 IP addresses from 170 countries identified
  • 1517 IP addresses in Australia, 556 in Queensland


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Northern man pleads guilty to child porn charges

Posted Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:32pm AEST

A 61 year old Launceston man arrested after a tip off from international investigators has pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography on the internet.

The Launceston Magistrates Court heard this morning that John Frances Garnett Kitson had been accessing child pornography images over the net for nearly two years.

In June the Australian Federal Police raided Kitson’s Trevallyn home after they were tipped off by Interpol.

They confiscated his computer and a number of CDs.

Federal Prosecutor Ian Arendt told the court that Kitson admitted in a police interview that his habit of viewing child pornography images online had “got totally out of control”.

The court heard he browsed sites at least once a day over two years and downloaded more than 300 images.

Kitson is one of several Australians being investigated by Federal Police after Interpol tracked them downloading child pornography from a Croatian site.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Ex-policeman’s second child porn conviction


17/12/2008 4:00:00 AM

A FORMER Waratah police senior sergeant, sentenced yesterday for his second set of child pornography offences, was described as an “absolute pest to the community”.

Sentencing Edward Charles Herivel in Newcastle Local Court, magistrate Michael Morahan accused the 64-year-old of using medical conditions to elicit sympathy and rort a system he understood well because of his police work.

“I don’t feel sorry for you one bit,” Mr Morahan said.

“As far as I’m concerned you’re an absolute pest to the community.”

Mr Morahan said reports before the court suggested Herivel would die if he was imprisoned. He said he would not feel bad if he did.

The court heard the retired policeman was convicted in May 2005 of three counts of possessing child pornography.

He set up a new internet connection eight days after a suspended jail term for those offences expired.

A prosecution statement said Herivel, who received a number of awards during his 25-year career including a State Premier’s award for the 1994 bushfires, was detected after Australian Federal Police received information from Interpol about child exploitation material being downloaded from a file-sharing website. Among 6074 users identified globally, 74 were in Australia and 13 in NSW. Herivel’s internet account was among them.

On December 12 last year police from the State Crime Command searched his home. A hard drive, found among a number of computers, contained 168,000 images. Of these, 102 depicted two females aged about 13 or 14. One nine-second video file depicted a child of about 12 to 14.

Herivel’s barrister, Paul Marr, said the offending images were a tiny proportion of a large amount of material, which he had said he stored in the process of downloading adult pornography.

Mr Morahan fined him $5000 for one count of possessing child pornography.


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Child porn teacher in mental prison: magistrate

29/07/2009 12:00:00 AM

A FORMER Beechworth teacher involved with child pornography has avoided a stint in jail with a magistrate yesterday saying the sex offender was in a mental prison after being shunned by his community.

Ronald Hayes was convicted and given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, on a charge of transmitting child pornography, while also receiving an 18-month community-based order for production and possession of child pornography.

The former Beechworth Secondary College teacher, who had worked in Myrtleford, Rutherglen and Wangaratta as well, will have to undergo a sex offenders’ program and has been put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Magistrate Reg Marron disagreed with the prosecution’s argument that jailing Hayes would assist in providing a general deterrent to the community.

“The four walls of his prison is what has been created by himself,” Mr Marron said.

“He will be shunned by the community in which he existed.”

Hayes was sentenced over the charges in the Shepparton Magistrates Court yesterday.

That was after a plea hearing in the same court last Thursday heard he had exchanged 6520 pornographic images and sent 2859 explicit pictures.

The pictures were mostly of males aged about 15, between 2006 and 2008.

He was caught by police after a complaint from the operator of a German internet site, with Interpol then alerting Australian authorities.

Police arrested him in May last year and he was then stood down by Beechworth Secondary College.

Mr Marron said Hayes was living a “parallel existence” with his family and teaching colleagues knowing nothing about his pornography habits.

He said these habits involved Hayes taking part in chatrooms and making generally “bland responses” about the images.

The magistrate added that Hayes appeared to operate in a “tiny, tight cell” with his internet activity but once it had been revealed he had lost his career and suffered personally, financially and emotionally.

Mr Marron said Hayes’ crime was not victimless, because those in the images were likely to be “ticking time bombs” with the sexual abuse they had suffered leading to difficulty maintaining relationships, fractured lives and a “great distrust” of adults because of the exploitation involved.

He said those in the pictures were probably from the Third World and unaware of how their image was being used.

Hayes, who has been living in northern NSW and receiving welfare benefits, plans to move to Melbourne to meet the demands of the sex offenders’ course.

He will not be allowed to work with children again.

North East teacher’s child porn shame

24/07/2009 9:06:00 AM

A FORMER Beechworth secondary school teacher caught through international links to child pornography was involved in what a police officer yesterday described as “prolonged activity in an abhorrent crime”.

Police prosecutor Sen-Constable Wayne Taylor called for a jail term to be imposed on Ronald Hayes, who has lost his teaching career and faces the remainder of his life on the sex offender’s register.

Hayes, 52, a long-time teacher in the North East, appeared for sentence in Shepparton Magistrate’s Court on charges of possessing, transmitting and making child pornography.

Magistrate Reg Marron was told in tendered police facts that Hayes was caught through a complaint from a German internet site to police which led to involvement by Interpol and notification to the Australian Federal Police and Victoria’s sexual crimes squad.

Hayes was identified as accessing the internet sites and downloading child pornography images.

It was discovered that a total of 6520 images had been exchanged by him, with 2859 sent by Hayes to different receivers.

Sites had been accessed by Hayes between 2006 and last year.

“There is no suggestion he has paid for any of the images,” Sen-Constable Taylor said.

Hayes was stood down from Beechworth Secondary College last year after police executed a search warrant and found pornography before arresting him in May last year.

Melbourne barrister Marcus Dempsey, for Hayes, said it was clear none of the images had been archived with much of the material found by police computer experts in a trash folder.

Mr Dempsey said Hayes had to make copies of files to transmit them and the transmission was over a short period of time.

The focus of the images was males aged about 15 years, but others were younger.

“He is psychologically overwhelmed by his present situation,” Mr Dempsey said.

Mr Dempsey said he conceded it was serious offending with the number of images, the content of them and their transmission.

Sen-Constable Taylor said the Victorian Government in 2000 increased the penalty for possessing child pornography from two years’ jail to five years, with Attorney-General Rob Hulls saying there was a commitment to protect children.

“This is not a case of mere idle curiosity,” Sen-Constable Taylor said.

“The sense of violation in the community cannot be underestimated.”


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Cairns man jailed over child porn

By Lauren Day

Posted May 22, 2012 12:20:03

A 60-year-old man has been sentenced in the Cairns District Court in far north Queensland to 18 months in jail for child pornography offences.

Owen Halfpapp pleaded guilty to two counts of using a carriage service to access child exploitation material and one count of possessing child pornography.

He was found to have accessed 71 files between May 2005 and October 2010, including 53 images and 18 videos.

A psychiatric report described Halfpapp as having an adjustment disorder as well as chronic depression.

In sentencing Judge Brian Harrison took the mental illness into consideration.

But he added as long as people access exploitative material there is a market for it and children will continue to be abused.

Halfpapp will be eligible for release after four months.

Far Northern man faces 15 years’ jail after pleading guilty to child porn charges

Melanie Petrinec

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A GORDONVALE man is facing up to 15 years’ jail after pleading guilty to downloading child pornography for the second time in six years.

Owen John Halfpapp, 59, was fined $7500 in Cairns Magistrates’ Court in June 2005 for downloading and storing more than 100 child porn images, some involving children as young as six months, on his home computer between 1999 and 2001.

But despite the former school electrician professing his “deep embarrassment and shame” through his lawyer at that time, an investigation later found he was still accessing child pornography around the date of his court appearance.

Yesterday, Halfpapp pleaded guilty to five charges, including possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to access the images.

It is alleged he started downloading the material on May 26, 2005 – two weeks shy of his court appearance on the previous charges.

He continued to download images and videos from that date until November 30, 2008, and again between September 25, 2010 and October 3, 2010.

Halfpapp came to the attention of the Australian Federal Police after a tip off from Interpol.

His arrest on October 7 last year was a result of a raid on his Gordonvale home, which uncovered “a quantity of child abuse images and videos” on his laptop, a desktop computer and a USB.

He was yesterday committed to be sentenced in Cairns District Court at a date to be set.

Halfpapp will be dealt with under a harsher sentencing regime this time, after child pornography laws were reviewed in 2005 and most maximum penalties were doubled.

The maximum penalty for using a carriage service to access child pornography is now 15 years’ jail, and possessing images or videos carries a penalty of up to five years’ jail.


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