Albany man jailed for child porn possession

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Albany Justice Complex.
Camera IconAlbany Justice Complex. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A 51-year-old McKail man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for possessing more than 20,000 examples of child exploitation material.

David John Sobik will be eligible for parole after nine months behind bars, after police found 20,617 images and 178 videos of child exploitation material on his laptop and hard drive while executing a search warrant on May 22.

Five of the images were classed as category five pieces of child exploitation material, which can include depictions of children involving sadism and bestiality.

On April 13, WA Police received information from the US-based Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that a WA IP address was accessing child exploitation material, which led to police executing the search warrant on Sobik’s home.

During his sentencing hearing at Albany District Court on Tuesday, Judge Christopher Stevenson said Sobik’s crimes were not victimless.

“Such offences are not victimless crimes,” Judge Stevenson said.

“Those are who are prepared to possess or import it help fuel the demand for it, and in that way encourage the corruption and exploitation of children.

“Any right-thinking person who viewed the material that was in your possession would have distanced themselves and not stored it on a hard disk and would have attempted to delete and certainly not continued to download that type of material.”

Richard Hickson, Sobik’s defence lawyer, claimed his client never intended to download the more obscene files found on the laptop and hard drive.

“The intention was to download category one material ... There was no intention, obviously, to transmit or produce or any of the other type of offending of this category,” Mr Hickson said.

“To use a fishing terminology, the other material is effectively by-catch, but it’s admitted to being there.

“He can’t deny that it wasn’t there ... He just didn’t go looking for it.”

Judge Stevenson rejected the claim.

He said his sentence had to act as a deterrence and reflect the seriousness of Sobik’s crimes.

“The court must impose a sentence ... which is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence, which must be determined by taking into account the statutory penalty for the offence, the circumstances of the commission of the offence — including the vulnerability of the victims, and there are many, many victims throughout the world depicted in this material,” Judge Stevenson said.

“It is, and contains, a high degree of perversion and debauchery.

“As already mentioned, you can see the children responding to instructions given to them by others off-camera telling them what to do and how to do it.”

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