The Court of Appeal has rejected an application from a man convicted of producing child exploitation material and ‘upskirting’ women and a girl to appeal his sentence.
Adrian Robert Finley was sentenced in the Bendigo County Court in March to three years and five months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of two years and six months, after pleading guilty to seven offences.
These included committing an indecent act with a child under 16, two counts of producing child exploitation material, possession of child exploitation material, theft, using a carriage service to access or procure child exploitation material, and the ‘upskirting’ offence.
Finley is also on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Finley’s defence counsel Simon Kenny put to the court on Monday that the sentence handed down by Judge John Carmody was excessive and the non-parole period – more than 73 per cent of his total time of imprisonment – was unwarranted.
He argued Judge Carmody had not given adequate weight to his client’s co-operation with police, his lack of convictions, and his prior good character, noting he had made an early guilty plea.
But Justices Pamela Tate and Kim Hargrave refused leave to appeal, saying an appeal was unlikely to demonstrate the sentence was manifestly excessive.
Justice Tate noted that Finley had readily admitted to police some aspects of his offending, but had denied and later refused to make comment when questioned about the indecent assault of the child.
She also said Judge Carmody had described Finley’s sexually explicit photographs of a toddler as “extremely serious offending”, in which he abused the trust of a young child.
Finley used the Internet to procure and send child exploitation material for more than a year, and in total, had 3681 child exploitation images on his laptop and phone.
Justice Tate said Judge Carmody had not given too much emphasis to the principle of general deterrence in sentencing, noting there was a market for child exploitation material and Finley had actively contributed to the exploitation of children.
She also said the overriding concern in this case was the protection of the community, and when this was the primary consideration in sentencing, any mitigating factors were secondary and it was expected the sentence would be severe.
The non-parole period was, as the Crown noted, at the higher end of the range, she said, but the court found it justified given Finley’s risk of reoffending.
Judge Carmody had assessed his prospects for rehabilitation as “guarded”.