‘Extraordinary’: Ex-scout leader’s vile child abuse trove
The Queensland Court of Appeal has ruled that a former Brisbane scout leader should spend four more years behind bars because the 26,000 images he was caught with showed such an "extraordinary degree of depravity".
Daniel Leslie Cooper, 42, will not be eligible for parole until 2030 after the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions successfully argued that his 12-year jail sentence was "manifestly inadequate".
Cooper was jailed in February last year after he pleaded guilty to the possession, transmission and solicitation of more than 26,000 horrific child abuse images and videos using covert online messaging services.
Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Wilson described his offending, which began in 2016 and lasted almost two years, as "lengthy, widespread and serious and depraved".
During his sentence, the court heard that Cooper made child abuse material available to 12 chat groups on the messaging service Telegram, with some groups able to host thousands of users.
Cooper told other online predators that he loved "babies and brutal" and told one user "I just love them tiny".
Prosecutors described some of the material as the "most depraved and vile examples of child abuse material ever made" and the DPP later appealed the sentence.
At his appeal hearing, Commonwealth prosecutor Lincoln Crowley QC submitted the sentence failed to give enough weight to Cooper's "enormous dissemination of material to a potentially enormous audience".
Mr Crowley also argued that more weight should have been given to the "extraordinary degree of depravity" of the material which involved cruelty to babies who, in some cases, were injured.
The Court of Appeal was told that the sentencing judge was incorrectly told that Cooper was not an administrator of any of the child predator groups.
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He was however the administrator of a group that had about 61 members at the time of investigation.
Three Court of Appeal Justices agreed with the DPP and granted the appeal this morning.
"The particularly heinous nature and extent of the respondent's offending, together with its prolonged duration, necessitates the conclusion that this case sat well above the authorities referred to as comparable cases," Justice Anthe Philippides said in the judgment.
Cooper's head sentence was increased to 16 years.
His non-parole period was also extended from six to 10 years.
Originally published as 'Extraordinary depravity': Ex-scout leader's vile child abuse trove