Despite pleading guilty to child pornography charges, the former A Current Affair reporter has been given a three year good behaviour bond.
Former A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack has avoided jail over child pornography charges, instead being sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond.
In September, Mr McCormack pleaded guilty to two charges of using a carriage service to transmit, publish or promote child pornography, and faced a maximum of 15 years behind bars.
After a tip-off from the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, NSW detectives found he had been trading dozens of sexually explicit messages on Skype between April 2015 and February 2017, including one which said: “I love chatting to pedos” and “I’m a total b loving pedo”.
Despite this the 43-year-old left the courtroom today with his freedom intact.
The judge said the fact that he sought professional help prior to his arrest, admitted his wrongdoing, had no prior convictions, and was not in possession of photos or videos of children, all helped his cause.
“In this case, there were no videos, photos or images of pornography and there were no actual child victims,” Judge Conlon said.
“There has been no attempt to sexually abuse children.”
The court heard the former Channel 9 interviewer suffered from anxiety and struggled socially, which led him to drown his “self loathing” with alcohol. And it was when he was intoxicated that the offences occurred.
Judge Conlon also pointed to an attempted suicide earlier this year to highlight his state of mind.
The public has been quick to share their displeasure at the leniency of the sentencing.
A member of the public has thrown a cup full of spit over Ben McCormack as he left the Downing Centre @SkyNewsAust
— Charlotte Mortlock (@CMMortlock) December 6, 2017
Me: Parks in 2 hour zone for 2 hours and 2 minutes – $100 fine.
Ben McCormack: Child porn sicko – $1000 fine.
— Cory Runningham (@cunningrory) December 6, 2017
The judge in the Ben McCormack case is a disgrace and should be ashamed of himself. The justice system in Australia is an embarrassment
— @brycy09 (@brycy09) December 6, 2017
Disgusted at the justice system again. Another Pedo with a slap on the wrist Ben McCormack should have gaoled.
— What in the World (@Jtippsy) December 6, 2017