Guide on the Law on Producing & Possessing Child Abuse Material


It is reported that a 43-year-old man from Illawarra has allegedly produced and possessed over 100,000 videos and images of child abuse material, also known as child pornography.

Detectives attached to the Lake Illawarra Police commenced investigations in June of last year into claims that the man was producing child pornography.

His electronic devices were searched by police who allegedly discovered over 100,000 images and videos depicting child abuse material. Officers conducted a search of a Berkeley home on 23 June last year. The search resulted in the seizure of multiple electronic devices for purposes of being forensically investigated.

The man has since been arrested and charged with possessing and producing child abuse material. Police have indicated that he will face further charges including, 7 counts of using carriage service to transmit child abuse material, 16 counts of producing child abuse material, 7 counts of aggravated filming of a person in a private act, sexual touching of a person under 16, and sexual intercourse with a person aged 10-14.

In a statement, NSW Police have said, “It’s alleged the man’s devices contain in excess of 100,000 videos and images of child abuse material, including images the man had taken within his home.

He appeared at the Wollongong Local Court on 27 January when he was refused bail.

Guide on the Law on Producing & Possessing Child Abuse Material

Section 474.23 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) prescribes up to a maximum of 15-years imprisonment for producing, possessing, controlling, supplying or obtaining child abuse material if this is done with the intention for the material to be used in making available, accessing, transmitting, publishing, distributing, advertising, promoting, or soliciting it.

This offence is committed if a person does the above using a carriage service.

The meaning of ‘child abuse material’ is any material that depicts someone or is a representation of someone who at least appears to be under 18-years-of age who appears to be a victim of torture, cruelty, or physical abuse in a way that a reasonable person would consider it as offensive in all the circumstances.

In addition to the above definition of ‘child abuse material’, it also includes material describing a person who is implied to be under 18-years old, and is implied to be a victim of torture, cruelty, or physical abuse in a way that a reasonable person would consider it as offensive in all the circumstances. This is expressed in section 473.1.

When the law refers to ‘carriage service’, this means a service used for carrying communications by means of either guided or unguided electromagnetic energy, or both. Examples include internet services used by smart phones, tablets or laptops.

The defences of producing or possessing child abuse material include circumstances of committing this offence for a public benefit. This is if it was necessary for or of assistance in enforcing a law, or for monitoring compliance with or investigating a breach of law, or the administration of justice, or conducting a scientific, medical or educational research approved by the AFP Minister in writing.

Other defences include, committing the offence in the course of duties as a law enforcement officer, intelligence or security officer, and in doing so, it was reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of performing such duties.

Questions? Speak to one of our experienced criminal lawyers from our Sydney branch today.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.

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