Ex-‘A Current Affair‘ reporter Ben McCormack has avoided jail over child porn charges, after previously pleading guilty to the offences.

McCormack was slapped with a three-year good behaviour bond and fined $1,000 during a sentencing hearing at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court earlier this morning.

McCormack was sensationally arrested  – and Channel Nine‘s offices raided – back in April, with police charging the 43-year-old with two counts of using a carriage service to transmit, publish, or promote child pornography.

In September, McCormack entered a plea of guilty to the charges, with the court hearing that the disgraced ex-reporter had boasted online about being a “proud pedo” in online text conversations with older men via Skype.

McCormack’s conversations were intercepted by the NSW Police Child Exploitation Internet Unit, who told the court that the fantasy talk McCormack engaged in amounted to child pornography.

In previous hearings, Downing Centre Local Court judge Paul Conlon had pondered whether McCormack’s offences should be “viewed down towards the lowest end of the scale.” Conlan accepted that McCormack never acted on his fantasies, had sought medical treatment years before charges were laid, and suffered from deep self-loathing as a result of his urges. The court heard that McCormack only ever engaged in the online fantasies when he was drunk and too weak to resist acting on his urges.

McCormack and an unnamed man had communicated via Skype and text conversations for two years, sharing pornographic images and videos with each other that were not made available to the case. The statement of facts also asserts that McCormack engaged in online conversations under the name ‘Oz4skinboi‘ with boys between the ages of seven and twelve.

The reporter was stood down from A Current Affair after the raids took place, and he subsequently handed his resignation in to the Nine Network.

The charges against McCormack had carried a potential maximum of 15 years in prison.

Image: AAP