The man that former A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack shared explicit online chats about sex with young boys has been given a 10-month jail term.
Leon Berger (main photo) broke down in Western Australia District Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material, including photos and video.
The 36-year-old Berger had reportedly told McCormack and another man in an online chat he’d “do it with babies if he could”.
According to reports, Berger was in possession of images of naked boys as young as six and had expressed fantasies about drugging and raping a young male relative.
Both Berger, a former bank and hotel worker, and McCormack were arrested on the same day in April last year in a nationwide police sting.
Berger’s lawyers said their client had not been able to find employment since his arrest and he too had been a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
The judge hearing the case said Berger was less likely to re-offend after his public shaming – labelling him a lower risk.
McCormack was spared a jail sentence when he fronted Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court last December but was given a three-year good behaviour bond and fined $1000.
According to court documents at the time, McCormack had sought professional assistance for his paedophile urges for almost a decade and that he was afflicted by self-loathing. Following his arrest, he was admitted to a Sydney mental health facility and apparently tried to kill himself on two separate occasions following the public shame and humiliation in the media.
The former ACA reporter resigned his position from Nine in mid-last year and his current whereabouts are unknown.