Former A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack has been spared a jail term over child pornography offences and has been given a three-year good behaviour bond in a Sydney court this morning.
In Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court, the 43-year-old was also fined $1000, however, it is not yet clear if the judge has made any other orders such as his online use or staying away from children.
McCormack was sensationally arrested back in April after a sting by NSW Police. On the day of his arrest, Nine’s Willoughby studios were also raided in the search for evidence. McCormack was immediately suspended by Nine and he has since resigned from the broadcaster.
In September he pleaded guilty to two charges of using a carriage service to transmit, publish or promote child pornography.
B&T contacted Nine following this morning’s verdict, however, it declined to make any comment. While some commentators have argued that media have gone lightly on their reporting of the case so as to “protect one of its own”.
Ironically, one of McCormack’s biggest stories as an ACA reporter was outing former Hey Dad star Robert Hughes as a paedophile. Hughes is currently serving a minimum seven-year sentence for his crimes.
McCormack was caught chatting to other men online about his fantasies for young boys. In court it had been revealed that he fantasised about young boys’ “perfect bodies”, telling another man he was a “total b loving pedo” and answering “Yep” when asked if he thought he would always “be a p”.
McCormack reportedly went by the online name Oz4skinboi in conversations that involved young boys aged between seven to 12 years old. It has been reported that McCormack shared explicit sexual images with other men online, however, the images nor their nature have been revealed.
McCormack’s lawyers have argued that his actions were all fantasy and played out when he was often drunk and depressed.
According to court documents, 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.