28 February 2023

No conviction for man who apologised to police who found child abuse material on his phone

| Albert McKnight
Queanbeyan Court House

Jarn Seglenieks, 21, has been sentenced on a charge of possessing child abuse material. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

A young man from Queanbeyan who apologised to police officers after they found child abuse material on his phone avoided receiving a conviction when he was sentenced.

Jarn Seglenieks, 21, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing child abuse material last year before he appeared in the Queanbeyan Local Court for sentencing on Monday (22 February).

Court documents have already revealed that the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) had contacted Australian police about an Australian-based user posting material on Google in December 2021.

The center had detected 39 uploaded files which it considered to be category one child abuse material.

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Police tried to raid Seglenieks’ home in June 2022, but he was at work in Canberra at the time. He later presented himself to Queanbeyan Police Station where officers seized his phone.

During questioning, he told police, “Last year I accessed illegal stuff, I knew it was bad … I’m addicted to porn”.

He admitted the illegal material he accessed was “photos of young girls”, while the court documents say he had also “accessed and uploaded images” to his Google Drive for “reasons he still doesn’t understand”.

A forensic review of his electronic devices found six images on one of his phones that were classed as category one and two child abuse material, after which Seglenieks apologised to officers.

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“I’m sorry that you had to see those photos on my phone,” he said.

“I know it isn’t good and no one should have to see them.”

On Monday, Magistrate Roger Clisdell found him guilty, but without proceeding to conviction sentenced him to a two-year conditional release order, which is a community-based sentence.

An application for a non-publication order was also made on the day, but this was refused by the magistrate.

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