AN EAST Tamworth man jailed for holding hundreds of images of child pornography and accessing the abuse material has had his sentence slashed on appeal.
Troy John Peters had his total prison sentence cut by five months after taking his case to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) in Sydney.
Peters, then 39, was sentenced in August 2017 in Armidale District Court by Judge Jeffery McLennan after admitting to one count of possessing child abuse material and a charge of using a carriage service to access child pornography – one that carries a maximum of 15 years in jail.
He was handed a head sentence of two-years-and-nine-months with a minimum of 18 months behind bars before release.
Peters lodged an appeal on three grounds, arguing the sentencing judge erred in the consideration of the objective seriousness of the offences, the plea of guilty for the Commonwealth offence and the principle of totality sentence.
Peters was tracked down by authorities after police traced his “internet protocol address to activity on a website used to facilitate the sharing and the exchange of pornography”.
Oxley detectives raided his East Tamworth home in May 2016 and seized a laptop, iPhone and iPad.
The devices were analysed and Peters had 676 image and video files depicting child abuse, ranging across several of the child exploitation tracking scale categories, where “some of the children depicted in the images appeared to be below the age of three”.
The CCA judges agreed with the sentencing judge to find the objective seriousness of the offences “were below mid-range but not at the bottom of the range”.
In evidence tendered in re-sentencing, the court heard Peters was “a productive and compliant inmate” in custody, retained the support of his family and “acknowledges the likelihood of having to move away from Tamworth to obtain employment because of the publicity surrounding the case”.
The court was told Peters has “good prospects of rehabilitation" and has completed “various educational and vocational courses”, and allowed a 25 per cent discount for his early pleas of guilty.
Justices Margaret Beazley, Derek Price and Robert Hulme allowed the appeal, quashed the sentences and re-sentenced Peters to 18 months on the first charge, with a minimum of nine months non-parole from August 2017.
On the second charge, Peters was sentenced to one-year, 10 months in prison, with a minimum of nine months behind bars from February this year, before he is released on a recognizance that he provide $3000 in surety and be of good behaviour.
Peters’ original sentence was cut to two-years-and-four-months, with a minimum of one-year-and-three-months in prison.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.