R v M: Our client ran an online adult pornography business that involved downloading large volumes of pornographic material and then sorting through it to extract relevant material...
Offences: 1 x Using a carriage service to make available child pornography material (Max 15 years imprisonment); 1 x Possessing child exploitation material (Max 14 years imprisonment).
Court: District Court in Brisbane
Sentence Outcome: Released on own recognizance of good behaviour for 2 years, and no conviction recorded.
Overview: The circumstances of this case are highly unusual and unique, making for a notable case and a legal precedent.
Our client ran an online adult pornography business that involved downloading large volumes of pornographic material and then sorting through it to extract relevant material - this meant that some child exploitation or pornography material (CEM/CPM) was incidentally downloaded. Per protocol to protect children, any CEM/CMP identified was to be separated, kept isolated from external access, and then deleted.
When receiving downloads of large amounts of pornography, our client made two unfortunate mistakes:
Our client engaged our office to assist him, where we argued that our client incidentally possessed CEM/CPM as part of the collection process, and inadvertently made it available, but with no criminal intent.
We urged the Court to consider our client’s unblemished record with regards to CEM/CPM management and his efforts to safely isolate and remove the material. The fact that he only viewed a portion of the material in question also demonstrating he had no interest in it and was only negligently in possession.
We were also able to argue that the Court should consider our client’s early plea of guilty, significant personal circumstances that occurred at the time of the offending, including the death and serious illness of loved ones, and psychological reports.
The Court accepted our submissions and sentenced our client to be released on recognizance without sureties on the condition that he keeps the peace and is of good behaviour for two years for both offences and that no conviction be recorded for either offence.
A forfeiture order was made against our client for the hard drives on which the CEM/CPM material was found, which we opposed. Usually, the hard drives would be forfeited and all records, non-offending or not, would be turned over; however, we were able to successfully argue that our client be able to download and copy any non-offending business or personal records under police supervision.
This is the summary of an actual case. Certain details have been omitted to protect the privacy of our client. We select and summarize cases which are informative and provide no guarantee that similar results are achievable in all cases. This summary does not constitute as legal advice and you should obtain legal advice specific to your matter and circumstances. If you are facing charges similar to the ones above, contact us for a free consultation.