Child-abusing former scout leader's 'light' jail term stays
A CHILD-molesting former Scout leader who traded in images of boys being sexually abused will not have his jail term extended.
Federal prosecutors said Brock Emil Dittman's four-year jail term and one-year non-parole period was too soft.
And Queensland Court of Appeal has agreed the Ipswich man got "light sentences”.
But a sentencing technicality - due to other sex offences Dittman committed - has complicated the issue.
At Brisbane Supreme Court in February, Justice David Thomas sentenced Dittman to four years' jail, on four counts related to child sexual abuse content.
The term was ordered to start on December 2, with parole eligibility after one year.
That start date was ordered because Dittman had already begun serving time for having a sexual relationship with a child.
That "relationship” started in January 2010.
Dittman also had a previous conviction for making child exploitation material. The victim in that case was the same child he'd been in the "relationship” with.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions said Dittman's four-year sentence was inadequate, and it went to the appeal court.
The Commonwealth DPP said Dittman accessed child sexual abuse imagery 957 times, on 430 separate dates and gave passwords to dozens of other people.
"On any view, these were light sentences, especially because the non-parole period was fixed after only 12 months,” Justice Philip McMurdo said in an appeal court decision delivered on Friday.
"The only arguable justification for these sentences could be the operation of the totality principle,” he added.
Judges had to consider this principle when a prisoner up for sentencing was already serving a term for a different offence.
"The sentence in this case is one with which many judges would not agree, but that is not the present question,” Justice McMurdo added.
So although federal prosecutors argued Dittman's sentence was too lenient, they could not show Justice Thomas made an error in sentencing.
"Absent the effect of the earlier sentence, I would have allowed this appeal. But it was open to the judge, because of totality considerations, to order as he did.”
The appeal was dismissed.
After a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation, Dittman was caught using file sharing software to trade the offensive content. -NewsRegional