Sydney barrister Richard Horsley jailed for child abuse material offences

A former Sydney barrister has been despatched to jail after police found a trove of grotesque child abuse material on his computer systems.

Richard James Horsley was on Monday sentenced to a most of 1 12 months and 10 months jail within the NSW District Courtroom after pleading responsible to fees of possessing and accessing child abuse material.

He’ll spend his first evening behind bars since he was arrested on August 28, 2019, a full 12 months after police had raided his Alexandria house.

Richard Horsley, a former Sydney barrister, has been jailed.
Digicam IconRichard Horsley, a former Sydney barrister, has been jailed. Credit score: Information Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

When police knocked on the door of his Brandling Road tackle on August 28, 2018, the as soon as revered lawyer at first performed dumb when requested if officers may discover the sickening proof inside.

“To not my data” the previous business regulation specialist replied.

However upon additional questioning the now 61-year-old conceded it was “attainable” there may be child abuse material in the home.

“(He) stated that he had checked out photos of child abuse material, and that previously he had each downloaded and saved copies of it in addition to simply viewing it,” a replica of agreed information tendered to courtroom state.

Richard Horsley, in his lawyer days.
Digicam IconRichard Horsley, in his lawyer days. Credit score: Provided

He led detectives to varied digital gadgets – two HP laptops, an iPad, a Kindle and an iPhone X – which he admitted to proudly owning and gave up their passwords.

Paperwork tendered to the courtroom revealed the character of the material discovered on the 2 laptops, the total particulars of which NCA NewsWire selected to not report.

It included pictures and movies of pre and post-pubescent female and male youngsters – some showing to be youthful than eight – depicted in sexual poses, exposing their genitalia or engaged in intercourse acts with adults.

In all officers would sift by way of greater than 3000 examples of child abuse material, based on an agreed reality sheet earlier than the courtroom, the “overwhelming majority” of which concerned sexual poses solely.

Richard Horsley with his solicitor following a hearing on February 1.
Digicam IconRichard Horsley along with his solicitor following a listening to on February 1. Credit score: Information Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

The Kindle contained a studying checklist of guide titles corresponding to Intercourse Addict, Intercourse Dependancy, Asperger’s syndrome, Treating Pornography Dependancy, and Your Mind on Porn.

Not solely that, later evaluation of his iPhone and an iPad seized from Horsley’s house uncovered he had been looking concerning the Copine Scale – a system that categorise the severity of child abuse material that has been utilized by NSW Police.

In 2020 he pleaded responsible to possessing 1617 footage and 16 movies of child abuse material and accessing such material from his telephone.

It was argued at a listening to this month that Horsley, who as soon as held an workplace on the prestigious 8 Wentworth Chambers, shouldn’t be jailed as his offending was possible pushed by an autistic “obsession”.

The court was told the former lawyer had been diagnosed with autism and didn’t realise the gravity of his crimes.
Digicam IconThe courtroom was instructed the previous lawyer had been identified with autism and didn’t realise the gravity of his crimes. Credit score: Information Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

His barrister Phillip Boulten, SC, instructed the courtroom that his shopper “misplaced himself in pornography” as his life spiralled uncontrolled.

“He didn’t have the identical emotional response to the pictures he was seeing that an individual with out his incapacity would sometimes have or develop,” Mr Boulten stated.

“After all, he’s a lawyer. He knew it was unlawful perhaps. However he didn’t perceive the importance of what he was doing.”

The courtroom was instructed Horsley turned to pornography as a consequence of private {and professional} struggles within the late 2000s, and that he acknowledged an dependancy to web pornography in 2017.

The ex-barrister can be released on parole on November 14, 2021.
Digicam IconThe ex-barrister could be launched on parole on November 14, 2021. Credit score: Provided

A 12 months later he confessed to a psychologist that he was hooked on child sexual abuse photos.

That day, August 14, 2018, he modified the passwords on his gadgets to the day’s date – “140818” – and by no means checked out child sexual abuse photos once more.

Mr Boulten stated it was possible the psychologist notified police, who arrived at his doorstep two weeks later.

In sentencing, Choose Nicole Norman discovered particular circumstances and gave Horsley a 40 per cent low cost for the 2 severe fees of possessing child abuse material.

He was led from the dock to be taken into custody and will probably be eligible for parole in November 2021.