On 26 April 2019, Mr Hugh Cameron, 58, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years, after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of trying to procure a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia.
Between August 2014 and January 2016, Mr Cameron engaged in a number of online chat conversations. He paid for live child sex shows operating in the Philippines by transferring money via international remitting services, and used a messenger service to watch the children over a webcam.
During the online shows Mr Cameron made numerous sexualised comments about the girls and stated he had a preference for girls aged 12–14 years old.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) started investigating Mr Cameron after it received a tip off from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in America regarding an Australian resident engaging in online conversations with children in the Philippines.
As part of its investigations, the AFP executed a warrant and obtained the stored conversations from Yahoo 7.
In sentencing, Judge Mark Herron of the District Court of Western Australia, said Mr Cameron’s offending "showed no regard or concern for the welfare of the vulnerable children and actively encouraged their sexual abuse”.
He said "The children were being abused, violated and degraded in order to satisfy your perverted sexual interests."
Judge Herron said he was satisfied that if Mr Cameron's online activity not been discovered, there was a "real risk" he would have travelled to the Philippines to personally offend against the children.
He said despite Mr Cameron's pleas of guilty he had shown little remorse and he remained a significant risk of re-offending.
Summary of charges
- Seven counts of engaging in conduct with a person he believed to be under 16 years of age with the intention of procuring the child in sexual activity outside of Australia, contrary to s272.14(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
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