Publication part of punishment

31/07/2008

Publication of some offenders’ photos could be a more powerful deterrent than a sentence according to Distirct Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll.

He was ruling on an application by the ODT to publish a photo of a man who admitted downloading images showing sexual exploitation of children.

Granting the application, Judge O’Driscoll said the basic principle of an open court meant the media, which had an obligation to be fair and balanced, was “the eyes and ears of the public” and always entitled to be in court.

… Judge O’Driscoll said the publication of the defendant’s name and photograph could be a powerful deterrent to both those already involved in such offending and those considering it.

The defendent’s counsel opposed the application for lifting name suppression noting the impact on the defendent’s wife and elderly mother. But the judge said it was a sad consequence of offending that there were always innocent family members who suffered.

And of course the innocent children who are exploited by pornographers.


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