Posts Tagged ‘Taskforce Argos’


 

 

Age:  24

Location:   Townsville  QLD

Offence:  Pleaded guilty in Townsville District Court to five child exploitation material charges and two of using electronic communications in attempt to procure a child.

Sentence:  TBA

Other:  Afflick used video chat site Omegle & messenger app Kik to speak to others.  He once pretended to be a 12-year-old girl.

 

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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/sex-predators-jailed-after-online-sting-by-police/story-e6frf7l6-1225956858773

Sex predators jailed after online sting by police

  • Tony Keim
  • From: The Courier-Mail
  • November 19, 2010 10:55PM

A BRISBANE pharmacist and an entertainment manager are both behind bars after grooming a sexually inexperienced 14-year-old girl over the internet who was actually a male police officer.

A District Court jury deliberated almost a day before this afternoon finding 60-year-old pharmacist Kenneth Leslie Sternes guilty of using a carriage service, the internet, to groom a person under 16 and eight of using the internet to expose a child under 16 to indecent material between January 7 and February 25 last year.

At the same time entertainment manager and part-time radio announcer Christopher Francis Costello, 50, was before another court several rooms away being sentenced to 2¼ years’ jail after a Brisbane jury in July found him guilty of similar offences between January 19 and February 16, last year.

In both cases the men were chatting with the same male police officer posing as “Cassie” in computer internet chatrooms.

“Cassie” who was in fact an officer for the Queensland Police Service’s Crime Operations Command Taskforce Argos described herself in her internet profile as a sexually inexperienced 14-year-old girl living with her mother at Browns Plains.

Commonwealth prosecutors, in both cases, said the men started corresponding with “Cassie” – who used the internet username “cassiedaluvbug” – in a Yahoo Messenger internet chat room and later continued communicating with via MSN Messenger.

Prosecutor Deb Mayall, in opening the case against Sternes this week, said the pharmacist went by the computer nickname “aussiejimmy3” and asked “Cassie” for her mobile number, questions of a sexual nature and whether she was sexually experienced and interested in boys.

She said during internet chats and messages Sternes encouraged “Cassie” to pleasure herself sexually, not tell her mother of their chat exchanges, asking to meet her for sexual encounters and if she considered him to be her boyfriend.

Sternes also sent the “girl” photos and videos of his exposed penis and of himself masturbating on eight occasions.

Ms Mayall said during internet chats Sternes asked the girl “if she had boobs or hair down there” and even “offered to educate” her on matters of a sexual nature.

Sternes has been remanded in custody for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

In July, the Commonwealth prosecutor Glenn Rice revealed Costello spent 13-hours sending messages to “Cassie” and sent “her” photographic images of himself shaving his pubic hair and masturbating.

Costello had been the holder of a Blue Card – a government permit which allowed him to work or volunteer with children.

Judge David Reid today jailed Costello for 27 months, but ordered he be eligible for release from September 10 next year.


Porter – Troy Darren - Photo2

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/teacher-faces-jail-for-stalking-girl/story-e6freoof-1226224867291

Former teacher Troy Darren Porter faces jail for stalking schoolgirl

  • by: Kay Dibben
  • From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
  • December 18, 2011 12:00AM

TEACHER Troy Darren Porter was convicted of indecent treatment of a young student two years ago, but walked free from court.

He escaped jail because he had already been in custody for 248 days leading up to his trial for exposing the then six-year-old girl to indecent acts. He was, however, ordered to stay away from the student.

The Attorney-General appealed the sentence, saying it was too lenient. The appeal was unsuccessful.

But if the appeal had been upheld and Porter had been locked up, the victim and her family would have been spared the trauma of Porter’s sick obsession, because he started stalking the girl again.

Fifteen months after the judge told him to stay away, Porter showed up at the girl’s school swimming carnival.

On November 18 last year, he left his parents’ Sunshine Coast home, which has a swimming pool, and drove 90km past 29 public pools to the Brisbane leisure centre where the girl was swimming with her class.
Porter then walked past the girl, who is now 10, winking at her as she waited for friends outside a change room.

On December 9, Brisbane Magistrate Judith Daley found Porter had deliberately planned his trip to the leisure centre in November last year, knowing the girl’s Year 5 class would be there.

A Taskforce Argos police investigation discovered that Porter found out where the girl would be by accessing a newsletter about the swimming carnival on her school website, a favourite site on his internet search engine.

The court heard Porter first met the girl as a trusted primary school teacher who had befriended her parents, sometimes sleeping over at the family’s house and having them stay at his home.

His obsession with the girl was even evident while he was on bail awaiting sentencing for the original offence. He went to the girl’s new school and called her over to the fence.

When Porter was sentenced in August 2009 for indecent treatment of the girl, he was freed but ordered to have no contact with her for two years and not to go within 200m of her school.

This time he is likely to go to prison. Magistrate Daley found Porter guilty of breaching the non-contact order and he is now waiting to be sentenced in Brisbane District Court. Porter has been released on bail.

Police also are seeking a civil order that could bar him from going near the girl or contacting her in future.

Hetty Johnstone of child protection group Bravehearts said the Attorney-General had been proved right and Porter should be jailed.

“This is highly predatory behaviour and a red flag,” Ms Johnstone said.

“He is stalking this little girl and harassing her.

“The court must respond accordingly, in favour of this little girl, and lock this guy away.”

Porter now works at a Sunshine Coast liquor barn.

 

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Mara – Derek Richard - Sketcha

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland-police-operation-wins-international-award-for-dismantling-a-child-sex-offender-network/story-e6freon6-1226003649883

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.

 

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/australia-post-manager-helped-run-child-porn-ring-20090724-dvpx.html

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.

 

http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2009/03/06/42991_news.html

Paedophile gets six years jail for depravity

MALCOLM WEATHERUP

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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http://www.qt.com.au/story/2010/04/03/fears-that-child-porn-paedophile-may-teach-again-l/

Fears paedophile may teach again

Nikkii Joyce | 3rd April 2010

A CONVICTED child-porn paedophile – a former Sunshine Coast high school teacher – may be back in the classroom within three years.

Simon Andrew Kemp, who taught at Maroochydore High, was found in possession of 14,000 child pornography pictures and more than 500 child-porn video files.

Mr Kemp served four months in prison in 2008 over the child exploitation material featuring children aged between one and 15.

He is one of a potentially large group of offenders who can use a loophole in the Queensland Education Act.

If Mr Kemp had kept his Queensland teacher registration up to date, he would never again be able to teach in Queensland.

However, he let the registration lapse.

Anyone wanting to teach in this state has to be registered by the Queensland College of Teachers.

Because he was not registered, the QCT disciplinary committee could meter out one penalty only.

That was to prohibit Mr Kemp from re-applying for his teacher registration for five years.

Neither the government nor the QCT is willing to accept responsibility for the loophole.

Last month, Opposition education spokesman Bruce Flegg said he wanted a life ban slapped on any teacher found guilty of criminal offences against children.

“In cases such as child rape and the very serious end of allegations, we should be ensuring these people never again deal with children,” he said.

“This constant reapplying to go back into teaching, we run the risk that some of these people are just going to slip through the net and back into the classroom.”

Mr Kemp was a registered Queensland teacher for four years before he was picked up by a Queensland police taskforce targeting child abusers.

He was teaching maths and information technology at Maroochydore High at the time and had coached an under 15 boys soccer team.

In June, 2007, Taskforce Argos informed QCT that Mr Kemp had been charged with offences of possession of child exploitation material and making child exploitation material.

The Daily has obtained a copy of the QCT Teachers’ Disciplinary Committee hearing documents, available under the Right to Information Act.

It revealed that Crown prosecution submissions to Maroochydore District Court included that Mr Kemp had images and videos of children, aged one to 14, posing naked and engaging in oral, anal and vaginal sex with each other and adult males.

Mr Kemp was sentenced to 15 months in jail, suspended after serving four months.

QCT director John Ryan told the Daily this week it had never received an application from a former teacher whose registration they had cancelled.

Mr Ryan, who denied there was a loophole, said the applicant would have to prove he or she had extenuating circumstances to be able to teach again.

Queensland Education Minister Geoff Wilson was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Twenty-six teacher registrations were cancelled last year and another 300 remained under investigation.

Most can reapply for registration after five years.

 

http://www.thedaily.com.au/news/2008/oct/24/teacher-jailed-possessing-child-pron-simon-kemp/

Teacher jailed for possessing child porn

12:00a.m. 24th October 2008

| By Rae Wilson

A Sunshine Coast school teacher was jailed yesterday for possessing 14,231 still and 542 video pornographic images of children aged one to 14 years.

Simon Andrew Kemp, 31, was teaching maths and information technology at Maroochydore High School and had coached an under 15 boys soccer team.

Mr Kemp, who pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to five counts of possessing child exploitation material, had been a student at the school.

Crown prosecutor Lilly Brisick told the court yesterday that Mr Kemp had downloaded the images on his family computer over 16 months in 1006 and 2007.

She said he had stored the photos using a hidden file system and had burned images to four compact discs.

Ms Brisick said the videos were graphic and possession promoted the exploitation and corruption of children.

Barrister Neil Stubbins said his client had shown genuine remorse and addressed his behaviour through professional help.

Mr Kemp has seen a psychiatrist regularly and has been diagnosed with OCD and paedophilia.

In a report to the court, the psychiatrist revealed his client had a homosexual outlook he could not share.

“His sexual feelings instead became immersed in child pornography,” he wrote.

Mr Kemp was sentenced to 15 months jail, suspended after serving four months.

 

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http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2010/12/11/191771_news.html

Men walk free over child porn charges

JASON SCHWAB  |  December 11th, 2010

A TOWNSVILLE man who distributed a graphic tutorial over the internet describing how to sexually abuse young children will walk free in just three months after being sentenced yesterday.

Timothy Hinspeter, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing and three counts of possessing child exploitation material.

On November 18, 2007, police discovered Hinspeter was circulating an explicit pictorial tutorial via a peer-to-peer file sharing site.

The four-minute guide detailed how to sexually assault girls from infancy through to 13 years of age.

Explicit instructions about different objects that could be used while performing illegal acts were provided.

It also specified ideal times to carry out such offences to ensure a spouse would not discover what was going on.

The file displayed 39 images of young girls.

Hinspeter was arrested on March 5, 2008, after a raid at his home. In addition to the tutorial, police seized his laptop and numerous hard drives, which contained 42 child porn videos, some as long as 45 minutes. They depicted as many as three young children being molested by men.

In handing down his sentence, Judge John Baulch SC told Hinspeter: “There is no indication the nature of the offence shocked you or caused you to reconsider or stop what you were doing.”

Hinspeter was given 18 months’ jail for the distribution charge, to be wholly suspended after just three months. He will then be subject to two years’ probation.

Meanwhile, two other Townsville men also charged as part of Taskforce Argos a Queensland Police investigation targeting the illegal accessing and downloading of child pornography have pleaded guilty and walked from court.

Ashley Kenneth Kearns, 48, and Peter Andrew Morgan, 42, both appeared this week in the Townsville District Court.

Judge John Baulch SC said the pair, who were regular visitors to pornographic websites that offer illicit images and videos of underage children, was involved in a “disgusting trade”.

Kearns, an ex-employee of Ergon Energy, faced 22 charges.

He also appeared on 21 commonwealth charges of using a carriage service, namely the internet, to download child pornography material.

He was given two wholly suspended sentences 18 months in jail for the Commonwealth offences and ordered to pay $2000 recognisance, while he was given six months’ imprisonment for the state charge.

Morgan, a fitter and turner, was charged with two state counts of possessing child exploitation material .

He was given a nine-month jail sentence wholly suspended.

 

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http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2010/12/14/192111_news.html

Child porn sentence ‘lenient’

TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN  |  December 14th, 2010

THE Liberal National Party has called for an appeal of the jail sentence of a Townsville man who posted a child abuse “how-to” video on the internet.

Timothy Hinspeter, 36, was given 18-months’ jail in the Townsville District Court on Friday, suspended after three months, after he pleaded guilty to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Police found him in possession of a four-minute guide detailing how to sexually assault girls from infancy through to 13 years, including providing instructions about different objects that could be used and ideal times to carry out the offences to ensure they would not get caught.

Shadow attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie said the sentence was too lenient and sent the wrong message to paedophiles and other sex predators.

“I call on the Attorney-General to appeal this sentence immediately,” Mr Bleijie said.

Hinspeter was arrested in 2008 after investigation by police Taskforce Argos, which targets the accessing and downloading of child pornography.

“It is too lenient, fails to reflect the gravity of the offence and fails to act as a sufficient deterrent,” he said.

The Attorney-General is able to appeal a sentence within 28 days of it being delivered.

Attorney-General Cameron Dick yesterday declined to comment.

 

http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2010/12/11/191771_news.html

Men walk free over child porn charges

JASON SCHWAB  |  December 11th, 2010

A TOWNSVILLE man who distributed a graphic tutorial over the internet describing how to sexually abuse young children will walk free in just three months after being sentenced yesterday.

Timothy Hinspeter, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing and three counts of possessing child exploitation material.

On November 18, 2007, police discovered Hinspeter was circulating an explicit pictorial tutorial via a peer-to-peer file sharing site.

The four-minute guide detailed how to sexually assault girls from infancy through to 13 years of age.

Explicit instructions about different objects that could be used while performing illegal acts were provided.

It also specified ideal times to carry out such offences to ensure a spouse would not discover what was going on.

The file displayed 39 images of young girls.

Hinspeter was arrested on March 5, 2008, after a raid at his home. In addition to the tutorial, police seized his laptop and numerous hard drives, which contained 42 child porn videos, some as long as 45 minutes. They depicted as many as three young children being molested by men.

In handing down his sentence, Judge John Baulch SC told Hinspeter: “There is no indication the nature of the offence shocked you or caused you to reconsider or stop what you were doing.”

Hinspeter was given 18 months’ jail for the distribution charge, to be wholly suspended after just three months. He will then be subject to two years’ probation.

Meanwhile, two other Townsville men also charged as part of Taskforce Argos a Queensland Police investigation targeting the illegal accessing and downloading of child pornography have pleaded guilty and walked from court.

Ashley Kenneth Kearns, 48, and Peter Andrew Morgan, 42, both appeared this week in the Townsville District Court.

Judge John Baulch SC said the pair, who were regular visitors to pornographic websites that offer illicit images and videos of underage children, was involved in a “disgusting trade”.

Kearns, an ex-employee of Ergon Energy, faced 22 charges.

He also appeared on 21 commonwealth charges of using a carriage service, namely the internet, to download child pornography material.

He was given two wholly suspended sentences 18 months in jail for the Commonwealth offences and ordered to pay $2000 recognisance, while he was given six months’ imprisonment for the state charge.

Morgan, a fitter and turner, was charged with two state counts of possessing child exploitation material .

He was given a nine-month jail sentence wholly suspended.