Accused child abuse duo excused from court

Peter Daniels
·2-min read

Two men accused of being part of a global online child exploitation network have faced a regional NSW court on hundreds of charges.

Timothy Luke Doyle, 27 and Steve Garrad, 22 were absent from Port Macquarie Local Court on Thursday when their matters were mentioned.

The pair, both from nearby Kendall, have not entered pleas to their combined charges which number more than 425.

Magistrate Georgina Darcy did not require the men to be present when she refused bail.

Police prosecutor Karen Griffin sought an adjournment until December 17.

"There are still some outstanding issues," she said.

"We will have the brief compliance on the next hearing."

Police revealed earlier in November that men from NSW, Queensland and Western Australia filmed and shared the sexual abuse of 46 Australian babies and children, also uploading some of the material to a range of online platforms.

The men range in age from 20 to 48 and include former childcare worker Doyle, a volunteer soccer coach and disability support worker.

Doyle used his job and "other deceptive means" in his personal life to gain access to 30 children, investigators allege.

Sixteen of the children were from one childcare centre on the NSW mid-north coast.

Doyle is accused of putting the children in contact with his partner Garrad, who also allegedly abused them.

Doyle is charged with more than 300 offences, including having sexual intercourse with a child under 10, indecent assault of a child under 16 and intentionally sexually touching a child under 10.

Garrad is charged with more than 120 similar offences.

The charges relate to alleged incidents from 2014 through to 2020.

Police said last week that eight NSW men have been charged with 577 offences against 39 children.

Three men in Queensland and three more in WA have been charged, investigators said.

More than 140 matters were referred back to Europe, Asia, the US, Canada and New Zealand during the investigation.

Police made their first arrest in February after tip-offs from American social media companies were passed on by US authorities.

"I am also instructed that these (matters) will be going to a specialist DPP (Department of Public Prosecutor's) unit," Ms Griffin told the court on Thursday of Doyle and Garrad's charges.

"I understand that I will need to seek an extension to some of those charges."

All matters against both men have been adjourned to the same court on December 17.