NO EXCUSE: John Rodney Powell, 55, offered no real explanation as to why he had the images of naked girls between the ages of 5 and 12 on his laptop.
NO EXCUSE: John Rodney Powell, 55, offered no real explanation as to why he had the images of naked girls between the ages of 5 and 12 on his laptop.

Dad with almost 1900 child porn images escapes jail

A MOORE Park Beach man found with nearly 2000 images of child exploitation material has avoided spending time behind bars.

Facing the Bundaberg District Court on Monday, 55-year-old John Rodney Powell was slapped with a wholly suspended 15-month sentence.

He offered no real explanation as to why he had the images of naked girls between the ages of 5 and 12 on his laptop, which were uncovered by police on November 4, 2016, at a time when Powell was under a significant amount of financial stress.

The court heard Powell had expressed a great deal of remorse and shame and his offending had been the final straw that saw his relationship of more than 10 years break down, and also meant he now only had limited, supervised contact with his own children.

In sentencing Powell, Judge Brendan Butler took into consideration his lack of similar offending and the fact that he was only now getting treatment for depression - a condition he had likely suffered from for some time.

"Police seized your computer and found on it material depicting naked female children," Judge Butler said.

"In all there were 1916 images ... 1897 were in the least serious category.

"Any images are most concerning ... children have been exploited to obtain these images.

"By accessing this material your contributing to this market."

Judge Butler said the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years' jail, was a serious one, but he accepted there was no allegation of distribution or a commercial aspect to the circumstances.

He also accepted that Powell had taken significant steps to assist his rehabilitation and any "potential risk of re-offending seems to be quite slight".

"Likely your depression contributed to your lack of restraint in offending," he said.

Weighing everything up, Judge Butler decided not to send Powell to an actual term behind bars. The sentence will hang over Powell's head for two years.



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