Using a carriage service to groom a child under 16

by George Sten & Co

Using a carriage service to groom a child under 16 – Criminal Lawyers Sydney

 

Under s474.27 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), it is an offence to use a carriage service to groom persons under the age of 16 years. The definition of ‘carriage service’ is taken to have the same meaning as ascribed in the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth), being ‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’ (s7 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)). In simple terms, this would refer to the use of technology to groom a child, such as the internet or a mobile phone.

 

A person is taken to have committed an offence if they, pursuant to s474.27, as ‘the sender uses a carriage service to transmit a communication to another person’ (s474.27(1)(a)); ‘and the sender does this with the intention of making it easier to procure the recipient to engage in sexual activity with the sender’ (s474.27(1)(c)); ‘and the recipient is someone who is, or who the sender believes to be, under 16 years of age; (s474.47(1)(d)); ‘and the sender is at least 18 years of age’ (s474.27(1)(e)). Interestingly, there is a specific note that the recipient is someone who is or ‘is believed to be under 16 years of age’, meaning that presumptions regarding the recipient’s age are also an important factor in this charge. In this instance, the period of imprisonment listed in the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1994 (Cth), is 12 years.

 

The Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), also covers the situation where the sender may not be the person seeking to engage in sexual activity, but is serving as the liaison between the two parties. This is phrased in s474.27(2) as ‘the sender does this with the intention of making it easier to procure the recipient to engage in sexual activity with another person’. The provisions mirror those in s474.27, except for the fact that the sender believes the recipient to be under 16 years of age, and the participant who is potentially seeking to be involved in sexual activity is at least 18 years of age. The penalty is listed as 12 years’ imprisonment.

 

A further circumstance is elucidated in s474.27, which concerns a sender using ‘a carriage service to transmit a communication to another person (s474.27(3)(a)); and this is done with the ‘intention of making it easier to procure the recipient to engage in sexual activity with another person’ (s474.27(3)(c)), with the recipient under or believed to be under 16 years of age (s474.27(3)(d)), and the other person involved (identified in s474.27(3)(c)) as the party involved in ‘engaging in sexual activity’) is or is believed to be by the sender under 18 years of age (s474.27(3)(e)), and the ‘sender intends that the sexual activity’ referred to above will take place ‘in the presence of (i) the sender; or (ii) another person who is, or who the sender believes to be, at least 18 years of age’ (s474.27(3)(f)). This has an imprisonment period of 15 years.

 

It is important now to also have a look at s474.26 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which refers to the use of a carriage service to procure persons under the age of 16 years. It is an offence if a person ‘uses a carriage service to transmit a communication to another person (s474.26(1)(a)); ‘and the sender does this with the intention of procuring the recipient to engage in sexual activity with the sender’ (s474.26(1)(b)); ‘and the recipient is someone who is, or who the sender believes to be, under 16 years of age’ (s474.26(1)(c)); ‘and the sender is at least 18 years of age’ (s474.26(1)(d)). This attracts a 15-year imprisonment period.

 

Section 474.26(2) details the circumstance where ‘the sender does this with the intention of procuring the recipient to engage in sexual activity with another person’ (s474.26(2)(b)) with the recipient under, or believed to be under, 16 years of age. This incurs a 15-year imprisonment period as well. With reference to s474.26(3), this operates in a similar fashion to its equivalent section in s474.27, with the additional element of the sender intending that the sexual activity referred to ‘will take place in the presence of (i) the sender; or (ii) another person who is, or who the sender believes to be, at least 18 years of age’ (s474.26(3)(e)). This also states a penalty of ‘imprisonment for 15 years’.

 

Using a carriage service to groom a child under 16 Charges

 

If you have reason to believe that you may be charged with an offence related to the use of a carriage service to groom a child under the age of 16 years, or you have already been charged, contact one of our criminal lawyers. Based in Sydney, our legal team will protect your reputation and work to clear your name. We can provide expert advice to ensure that the matter is dealt with quickly and thoroughly.

 

If you have been accused, investigated or arrested for Using a carriage service to groom a child under 16, then contact George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers for specialised legal advice. We are experts in the area of sex offences and make ourselves available to our clients 24 hours a day on 0412 423 569. Call us on (02) 9261 8640 or email us.

 

 



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