Former Channel Nine reporter Ben McCormack will be sentenced on child pornography charges on November 24.
McCormack, 43, appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court this morning a week after his lawyer Sam Macedone entered guilty pleas on his behalf to two charges of charged with using a carriage service to send child pornography.
Macedone said he would tender psychiatric reports at the sentencing and later told waiting reporters it was unclear if his client would be given a jail term. Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
The judge in this morning’s hearing, Paul Conlon, said after reading the police facts it was clear they were “not typical” of the charges McCormack had pleaded guilty to.
“It is a matter though, that having looked at the facts, can I just say that they are not typical of that particular charge,” he said.
Macedone has also revealed that he had been threatened and been told people wished he was dead for representing McCormack.
McCormack was arrested in April after officers from the NSW Police Child Exploitation Internet Unit intercepted online chat between the former Nine staffer and other suspected Australian paedophiles.
In late September, he pleaded guilty to two counts of using a carriage service to transmit, publish and promote child pornography. Following the hearing, McCormack resigned from his position at Channel Nine.
During the online conversations, McCormack – who used the online pseudonym “Oz4skinboi”- made mention of his links to Nine’s A Current Affair that led police to also raid Nine’s Willoughby offices on the day of his arrest.
Ironically, one of McCormack’s biggest scoops as an ACA journalist was his reporting on former TV star Robert Hughes’ child sex offences. Hughes is currently serving at least six years in prison.
Following his arrest in April, it was reported that McCormack spent significant time in a Sydney mental health facility.
McCormack, via his lawyers, had argued that all he did was engage in online fantasy chat and never met with underage boys or posted child pornography.
During the online chats, revealed in court, McCormack described himself as “as a total b loving pedo” and admitted he’d never engaged with sex with a minor but said he would “love to”.
McCormack also sent videos of himself performing a sex act to another unnamed man. In the video McCormack says he perves “non stop” when he’s at the beach, at shopping centres or at the movies. McCormack was a lifesaver at North Bondi Surf Club before being sacked following his arrest.