SA to close loophole for child sex offenders

The South Australian government will seek to close legal loopholes that allow some child sex offenders to get lighter sentences.

Under current laws, possession of child pornography or child-like sex dolls are not considered serious indictable offences meaning that an early guilty plea can attract a bigger sentence discount than for pleas to other serious sexual offences.

Proposed changes, to be introduced to parliament this week, will end those bigger discounts and also ensure that, when considering bail applications, police and courts take into account the harm that people caught with child sexual exploitation material cause by contributing to the abuse of children.

"The community expects authorities to have every tool at their disposal to deal with this thoroughly abhorrent behavior," Attorney-General Kyam Maher said.

"Many would be justifiably shocked to learn that our current sentence discount laws do not classify possession of child pornography as a serious indictable offence."

Mr Maher said the proposed changes would ensure the judiciary was able to uniformly deal with matters in a manner more in line with community expectations.