Former WA police officer Michael Richard Tyler used social media to discuss child sexual abuse

Written by Javed Iqbal

A former West Australian police officer is behind bars after pleading guilty to accessing and possessing child sexual abuse material which he then discussed and forwarded to users in online chat rooms.

WARNING: This story contains content that some readers may find disturbing.

Michael Richard Tyler, 38, was a senior constable stationed in the Midwest city of Geraldton last year when he used social media apps such as Discord and WhatsApp to discuss child sexual abuse.

The District Court was told that a search of his electronic devices uncovered thousands of messages that included discussions of drugging and raping children.

During some of these discussions, Tyler also forwarded pictures and videos of children as young as two months old being abused.

In one exchange, Tyler and a woman talked about abusing an eight-year-old girl while they were babysitting her.

In a different conversation with another woman, the discussion turned to being abusive parents.

Crimes followed ‘tumultuous years’

Tyler’s lawyer Clint Hampson told the court the offenses took place after his relationship broke down and his former partner took their children abroad.

Dr. Hampson said it had a “profound effect” on Tyler’s mental health and sparked what he called “a tumultuous year” that included substance abuse.

The court heard that Tyler then met a woman on Tinder who spoke about abusing a child.

“He accepts that once he was introduced to this, he has gone and offended,” said Dr. Hampson.

It was revealed at the hearing that a female co-offender had been convicted earlier this year for her “online chats” with Tyler.

She claimed that she had been forced by him to take part, even though she had no interest in child abuse material.

Judge rejects ‘fantasy’ claims

Tyler’s sentence was adjourned until November after Judge Charlotte Wallace said a psychological report was needed to establish the extent of his sexual interest in children.

Judge Wallace said in some of the material before her that Tyler had referred to his crimes as “fantasy”, which she stressed was not the case.

“This is not fantasy, these are real children, real victims,” ​​she said.

“Seeing the word fantasy, it’s offensive … it’s clearly wrong.”

Tyler did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody.

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Javed Iqbal

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