A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw has spoken out about former reporter Ben McCormack following his sentencing over child pornography charges.
Grimshaw explained how the ACA office’s reaction to the allegations ranged from “utter disbelief on the day he was charged” to “sadness, shock and revulsion as the nature of the offences became clear”.
In September, the 43-year-old reporter pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to promote child pornography, after raids of both his work and home in April.
"Like any accused person, from the moment Ben McCormack was charged the only judgement that mattered is that of the court," Grimshaw recounted.
"For me personally, I wished it was some terrible mistake…That maybe he'd been researching a story and his actions had been misinterpreted.”
Grimshaw recounted how her initial reaction changed when McCormack’s behaviour online was exposed in court.
"But when the detail of his online discussions became clear, when he called himself a 'proud pedo' who was attracted to boys aged 7 to 13 years old, I realised it was no mistake by the police,” she recounted.
"How could he do that? It was horrifying."
The ACA host also questioned how Ben McCormack could report on Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes’s alleged sexual abuse of young girls in light of his own behaviour.
McCormack has been spared jail time and has been handed down a $1,000 fine and a three-year good behaviour bond, the ABC reports.
The judge said the case was different from other child pornography cases he had dealt with because most involved videos or photos of children.
Judge Conlon also said McCormack had not tried to groom young people for sex and noted that McCormack had sought professional help for his paedophile urges since 2008. He also revealed McCormack had tried to kill himself twice since the allegations were made public.