Qld man jailed for child abuse photos

Aaron Bunch
·2-min read

A repeat offender who avoided jail in Queensland after being caught with more than 1500 child abuse photos has been re-sentenced to time behind bars.

Dennis Gerard Brincat, 40, was handed an 18-month suspended sentence in July after police found 1581 images of child exploitation on a mobile phone under his bed.

Former attorney-general Yvette D'Ath appealed the decision, saying it wasn't a victimless crime and the sentence was manifestly inadequate.

Appropriate deterrent sentences must be imposed to ensure children are protected from exploitation, Ms D'Ath told the Court of Appeal.

A full bench of the court agreed, handing Brincat an 18-month term of imprisonment, a judgment published on Friday said.

It cancelled Brincat's previous sentence and ordered that a warrant be issued for his arrest.

"The absence of a period of actual custody to be served was plainly unreasonable," Justice Philip McMurdo wrote in the court's reasons.

"It was not open to the (previous) sentencing judge to impose the orders which he did, which resulted in no period of actual custody."

Justice McMurdo said Brincat's "immediately relevant" criminal history for accessing, possessing and transmitting child abuse material in 2015 should have been taken into account.

Brincat served six months in prison after pleading guilty and was later released on two years' probation.

Police found he had reoffended while carrying out a child protection offender reporting compliance checks in April and May 2019.

In addition to the offence of possessing child exploitation material, Brincat also pleaded guilty in June to giving officers misleading information when he told them he'd run over, then trashed the phone later found to have the child exploitation material on it.

He was initially sentenced to 18 months' probation in July for that offence, but that was cancelled on appeal and he was re-sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

The term will be served concurrently with the 18-month sentence for possessing exploitation material.

Brincat will be eligible for parole on May 12, 2021.