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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Child abuse repeat offender, 72, sent back to jail

A 72-year-old man, who had been previously jailed for child abuse offences, was yesterday re-sentenced to almost 11 years’ jail by the Darwin Supreme Court.

The Darwin man was previously sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for multiple offences relating to using, transmitting and possessing child abuse material and attempting to procure a person under 16 years of age for sexual activity.

The man was released in April last year after serving his minimum sentence and began engaging in child abuse offences shortly after.

In July 2021, investigators from the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) commenced an investigation into the man through the use of an online covert operative, who the man believed was a mother with a 9-year-old daughter.

In a statement, the AFP said that during his conversations with the operative, he engaged in grooming activities, transmitted child abuse material and suggested the minor create a separate online profile that their mother would not have access to.

On 23 August 2021, investigators from the Northern Territory Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team executed a search warrant at the man’s home, where officers seized evidence of the offending. Police say further examination of the digital evidence seized revealed additional offences in relation to online chats with other minors.

AFP Detective Sergeant Richard Matejic said the case should be a warning to people who were attempting to prey on children online.

“The AFP and our partners have officers working on a range of platforms online to identify people trying to harm children,” Det Sgt Matejic said.

“Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual offenders and the next ‘child’ you try to exploit could instead be a police officer.”

The man was convicted of 11 child abuse related offences.

He was sentenced to a total term of 10 years’ and 10 months’ imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of five years and three months.

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