Australian faces jail for video cleared by censors

Queensland, Australia – Aussie police want to jail a site administrator for 20 years for showing a video of another man swinging his baby around on his video sharing site, LiveLeak.

Queensland Police want to put Chris Illingworth, 61, from Maroochydore, behind bars on charges of accessing and uploading child-abuse material after he published, on the LiveLink site, a video of a man swinging a baby around like a rag doll.

Despite not even making the three-minute clip, the father of four was committed to a trial by jury in the District Court on July 8. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for each of the two charges.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald has discovered that the clip Illingworth is being charged over was given the green light by the government’s own film censors. It was actually classified as MA15+.

Under the Classification Board’s guidelines, the impact of MA15+ material “should be no higher than strong” and violence and strong themes “should be justified by context”. MA15+ material is considered unsuitable for persons under 15 years of age.

“As a result of the Classification Board’s decision, the content is not prohibited under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992,” read a letter from ACMA.

However that means nothing to Queensland’s coppers, who have warned that anyone who much as sees the video will be locked up. It refused to comment on the apparent disparity between its and the Classification Board’s definition of child-abuse material.

A spokesman said that it was a matter before the courts and it would be inappropriate to comment.

The baby in the video is laughing and smiling at the end of the clip, but the video has attracted criticism from child-welfare advocates because of how vigorously the man swings the baby by its arms.