Abuse survivor says baby rape video was to find offenders
HORRIFIC, a dismayed Ipswich Judge said when sentencing a 39-year-old man for child pornography offences - two of the downloaded videos depicting the rape of a toddler, and sexual abuse of a baby.
However, Ipswich District Court heard how the man himself suffered terrible sexual abuse when a child, telling police he'd been looking for footage online for the offenders who abused him when viewing the sites.
The man telling a psychiatrist it was a needle in a hay stack search, his interest in child exploitation material only "to see if I can jag the person who offended against me in the 80s".
Material before the court found the abuse inflicted upon him as a child likely affected his brain development, and been a cause of a post-traumatic stress disorder and a depressive disorder.
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Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said while the man did not have huge quantities of child pornography as seen in many criminal cases, "some of the material, particularly the category 5 videos were utterly horrific, disturbing in their content."
"They involve extreme acts of violence, depravity against a child as young as two," Mr Horneman-Wren said.
"The content of a 14 minute video is almost inconceivable the abuse committed upon a child witnessed in the presence of others. Let alone recorded and shared with others."
He said another video depicted the sexual abuse of an infant.
Mr Horneman-Wren said the man before him had been convicted some years before of indecent treatment committed against his then 11-month old daughter.
He said it was a very unusual case with the man going to police and confessing to officers what he had done.
"You were shocked by your own conduct and removed yourself from all contact (with the child)," Mr Horneman-Wren said.
But he noted that the man in material put before the court was suggesting that his confession had been a false one.
In the Crown case prosecuted by Farook Anoozer, the man, a disability pensioner, pleaded guilty to distributing child exploitation material; possession of child exploitation material; and using a carriage service to access child pornography.
Defence barrister Justin Thomas said the offences were serious and outlined the man's diagnosed psychiatric illness and personality issues, saying such an offender should not be a vehicle for general deterrence by being given a lengthy jail term.
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Mr Thomas argued that his psychiatric condition went to his criminal culpability. And that the sentencing Judge in his conviction for indecent treatment against his own child had identified the very peculiar circumstances of his disclosure.
Mr Horneman-Wren noted that the man had since told a mental health doctor that they were "nonsense admissions" and made when in a difficult relationship with the child's mother.
He said the man walked into an Ipswich police station saying that he touched the child for 15 seconds. But now, many years later, was saying that his initial statement had been a false confession, even telling the doctor he has no sexual interest in children.
The inconsistencies disclosed left the court unsure of what to make of it, with Mr Thomas saying the statements shows the level of cognitive dysfunction the man suffers, and irrationality.
A man with a troubled background and poor development mentality.
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"He says he was searching the internet to see if he could find the people who were doing this. To see if I can find the people who abused me," said Mr Horneman-Wren.
"Not to minimise the horrific abuse he suffered (late 1980s and 1990s) it was a time when there was no digital recording or internet.
"If that was the purpose then why keep a 14 minute film of the abduction and rape of a two-and-a-half year old child witnessed and laughed upon by others present."
Mr Thomas said the man did not deliberately distribute the child pornography, rather it was done because of the nature of the specific program he used to download the images.
And in a police interview the man denied seeking any sexual gratification, saying "I've been hunting for paedophiles as something happened to me a while ago".
"I was looking for proof what happened to me."
Mr Horneman-Wren said medical reports viewed the impact of the man's own abuse impacting the development of his brain.
"On the evidence before me there is no doubt these offences find their root cause in your psychiatric condition," he said.
"Both (medical reports) highlight your history of significant horrific childhood abuse.
"Having a physiological organic effect upon the development of your brain."
The man had also abused marijuana and alcohol since a teen.
Finding exceptional circumstances did exist, Mr Horneman-Wren said ongoing psychiatric treatment was central to his rehabilitation and he did not want to interfere with this.
The man was sentenced to 18-months jail, suspended for four years. Released to a $1000 good behaviour bond of five years, with a three year supervised probation order.