A 44-year-old man from the Melbourne suburb of Altona North was yesterday (Monday) sentenced in the Melbourne County Court to three years and 10 months’ imprisonment after attempting to procure a child overseas for sexual abuse activity.
According to a statement released by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), on 10 January 2019, members from the Victorian JACET – comprising the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police – conducted a search warrant at the man’s home. During the search, investigators seized a mobile phone that was found to contain child abuse material.
Man sent gifts to a 13-year-old girl in UK
Police told the court the man was communicating with a 13-year-old child from the United Kingdom. The 44-year-old had also sent the girl gifts and stated in online messages that he wanted to take her away from her family.
It was further proven before the court that the accused was actively talking online about travelling overseas to meet the child with the intent to engage in sexual abuse activity.
Additional evidence showed the Melbourne resident had also transmitted child abuse material to other children online.
AFP acted on a report from British police
The AFP said initially the Victorian JACET had received an intelligence report from British police, which helped launch the investigation that led to the man’s arrest.
On 19 February 2021, he appeared before the Melbourne County Court and pled guilty to one count of procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia; one count of knowingly possessing child abuse material; and one count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age.
He was given three years and 10 months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years and eight months.
WA man also charged with online grooming
Meanwhile, on Friday a 31-year-old man accused of trying to sexually groom a teenage girl through social media faced a Perth Magistrate’s Court charged with two offences.
The Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) alleged the man believed he was speaking online to a 14-year-old girl in New South Wales, but it was actually a covert police officer posing as a child.
The man allegedly suggested meeting the girl in Sydney for a sexual encounter and sent her adult pornography.