11 February 2021

Sex offender pleads guilty to possessing thousands of images of child abuse

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts

Stephen John Barber returns to court in April to be sentenced over child sex offences. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A north Canberra man faces 15 years in jail for possessing thousands of examples of child abuse material.

Stephen John Barber, 67, has admitted to possessing the horrific files and will be sentenced for his offences the next time he appears before the courts.

The agreed statement of facts in the matter shows Barber had accessed child abuse material as far back as 2011 and by April 2020 he had over 4600 of the disturbing files spread over five devices.

The Franklin man was granted bail after he was arrested by the Australian Federal Police in April 2020, but in November 2020 the AFP found he had again accessed child abuse material, this time six images and one video.

READ ALSO Second man accused of attempted murder in south Canberra denied bail

Earlier this month in the ACT Magistrates Court, Barber pleaded guilty to four counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material and two counts of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service.

In the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday (11 February), Barber’s lawyer confirmed he was held in custody over the matter and said she was seeking a date for sentencing.

Acting Registrar Jayne Reece said he would be sentenced on 27 April and ordered a pre-sentencing report.

Original Article published by Albert McKnight on The RiotACT.

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