Man sentenced to seven years behind bars of which two was suspected for conviction of child pornography. FILE
Man sentenced to seven years behind bars of which two was suspected for conviction of child pornography. FILE

Oudtshoorn man sentenced to seven years behind bars for 200 images of child porn

By Genevieve Serra Time of article published Aug 20, 2021

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Cape Town - An Oudtshoorn man has been sentenced to seven years behind bars, of which two years were suspended, after he was convicted of a charge of child pornography following 200 images found in his possession.

The sentencing proceedings took place on Thursday at the Oudtshoorn Regional Court where Dale Mackintosh heard his fate.

The sentence was welcomed by The Film and Publication Board (FPB), who had been working closely with law enforcement.

Lynette Kamineth of the FPB, said the court called an expert who confirmed that Mackintosh was in fact guilty of the crimes of the creation, possession, distribution of child pornography as well as exploitation of children, after 200 images were found in his possession.

Interim chief executive of the FPB, Nomvuyiso Batyi, said they welcomed the success and hoped it would discourage others.

“This sentencing, after many hours of diligent work by our child protection officers in close relationship with our colleagues in law enforcement, is warmly welcomed,” she said.

“In our pursuit of eradicating Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), we employ internationally certified content analysts who are trained to ascertain whether people depicted in the suspected material are children (per South African law, anyone under the age of 18).”

The success comes just hours after a 32-year-old Bonteheuwel mother made an appearance at Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where she faces charges of manufacturing child pornography, possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and financial gain from child pornography and rape.

An agent from Homeland Security pretended to be a buyer and traced her to Bonteheuwel via geotagging (geographical identification), after she allegedly received payments via PayPal, and the woman was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with local law enforcement agencies in March.

The case was adjourned to September 15 to allow for an instruction from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

The FPB said they would be monitoring the case and working closely with the team.

“The FPB are also currently working with police on a case of a woman in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, who allegedly sold images of her naked child,” said Batyi. “We are committed to supporting law enforcement in securing successful convictions when such cases are lodged.

“We will be providing technical assistance and monitor the case closely as it unfolds. The rise of the digital space has made the work of the FPB and law enforcement in fighting CSAM doubly challenging.

“Sexual predators find an anonymous home on the internet, where it is easy to build a persona that is very different from reality, that can be used to exploit others. ’Stranger danger’ is a mantra that caregivers should be teaching their children in the real as well as virtual world.

“The FPB works in partnership with like-minded organisations in South Africa and around the world to close in on the perpetrators of these crimes against children.

“Working through the International Association of Internet Hotline (InHope) and their links to the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), we are able to track CSAM that has been created or distributed through international syndicates and finds its way to South African perpetrators online.

“Through these international networks, the creators or distributors of CSAM are brought to book according to the laws of the jurisdictions where they are based.”

They said between last year and this year, the FPB, received nine cases of CSAM from a tip-off from the public or via emails, and worked on 233 suspected cases referred by the Family and Child Protection Services of the SAPS.

They said in total, 733 810 images were examined, of which 3.7% (27 174) were found to constitute CSAM. Out of these, only three cases did not contain any child sexual abuse material.

In the Western Cape, one case that was received from the Western Cape contained 417 DVDs with video footage of suspected child pornography and 21 of those DVDs were confirmed to contain footage of CSAM.

“We treat cases of suspected exploitation of children with the utmost seriousness,” said Batyi. “A great deal of time is spent in the analysis of cases, with the gruesomeness of these images sometimes taking a toll on the officers employed to analyse them.

“While we do ensure that the officers are fully debriefed and able to access professional psychological care, the effort put into the analyses would be more greatly rewarded if more cases resulted in a sentence or if the sentences handed down would be more severe.

“However, we do understand that building a solid and water-tight case is a constitutional priority.”

Batyi added that the long-term psychological damage to a child abused multiples when the images of the abuse can be circulated and accessed online.

Members of the public are requested to report any suspected exploitation or grooming of children or instances of suspected CSAM in circulation.

Weekend Argus

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