Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Child Porn Sentences In Queensland

CASE ONE

Carins, AU -- Attorney General Linda Lavarch is considering and appeal after a man caught with 20,000 child pornography images was given a suspended jail sentence.

Self-employed steel fabricator Dieter Ressl, 64, pleaded guilty in the Cairns District Court to downloading thousands of pictures and videos from the internet showing children in sexually explicit acts. Crown prosecutor, Kila Pedder, in recommending Ressl be jailed, said the amount and content of images "put this in the most serious category of material which shows the exploitation of children".

Judge Kerry O'Brien convicted Ressl and ordered he serve 12 months' jail, suspended for three years. In handling down his sentence, judge said there was no indication the images were download for payment or were intended for distribution. For that reason, he said, there was little need for deterrent sentence. New child protection laws updated in April 2005 set the maximum penalty at five years jail.

Mrs. Lavarch told The Sunday Mail she would seek advice from the Department of Public Prosecutions as to whether the sentence was appropriate. " It's people such as this who fuel the trade in child pornography." she said.

CASE TWO

Brisbane, AU -- The Court of Appeal yesterday sent a strong message to internet child pornographers when it dismissed the appeal of man jailed for possessing 16000 child exploitation images. It was the first time any of the nine people sentenced under Queensland new internet child pornography law had taken his case to the Court of Appeal.

The Courier Mail highlighted last week the new laws had resulted in only three jailings in its first year, with majority of offenders walking out of court. Of nine men sentenced under the new law, only three have been ordered to serve actual jail time. One of those, Paul Christopher Plunkett, 39, was jailed for 18 months to be suspended after three months. A conviction was recorder.

Barrister Chris Wilson, for Plunkett, argued while his client (no previous convictions) was found with 16,000 images of girls aged 10 to 16 years, they were not near the worst kind of such material. He said in many cases the girls were fully clothed and there was no violence or sexual acts with adults on the images.

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