Cannabis and child porn

AN itinerant worker injured his back picking fruit at Cobram last year and turned to alcohol, cannabis and child pornography through boredom, a solicitor said yesterday.

David John Speer was out of work for two months, was consuming up to 20 drinks daily and smoking cannabis at his Finley residence.

He began checking the internet and downloaded child abuse material.

“He came across these images and foolishly downloaded them onto his phone,” solicitor Mark Cronin said in Albury Local Court.

“At no stage is it suggested he produced any material.”

Speer, 34, appeared through a video link from Junee jail for sentencing on two counts of possessing child pornography, filming a person in a private act without consent, cultivating cannabis, possessing cannabis leaf and having equipment to administer cannabis.

He was sentenced to jail terms of varying length with an overall period of 16 months and minimum of six months.

That makes him eligible for release next Thursday.

Officers discovered an array of child abuse images when they searched his residence on September 8 last year.

It included two video recordings showing girls aged about seven and eight having sexual intercourse with men and another file had 17 images of naked children estimated to be aged between four and 10.

Police seized his mobile phone and found a video which showed a young girl enter a room wearing a dressing gown.

She disrobed, exposed her breasts and changed into other clothes.

There was cannabis leaf in a bag on a table when police raided and a bottle with a piece of hose attached which Speer admitted was used for smoking.

Mr Cronin said Speer had been in protection in jail since being refused bail after his arrest.

“That is an oppressive custodial situation,” Mr Cronin said.

Speer is allowed from his cell just once for a short time during the day.

Magistrate Tony Murray said the images of young girls having sexual intercourse with men was a high level of abuse.

“Without the market, this abuse would just not take place,” Mr Murray said.

He said protective custody for Speer was far more harsh than being in the normal prison environment.

Mr Murray said Speer was on a suspended sentence in Victoria when the offences were committed.

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