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CQ addict's 'sordid' child porn stash churned judge's stomach

A SELF-CONFESSED porn addict raised in a strict 'fire and brimstone' religious family was caught with about 3.5million porn files - 492,705 of child porn images.

Andrew West, 43, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court on Wednesday to one charge of using a carriage service to access child exploitation material and one of possessing child exploitation material.

"The description in the schedule of facts in itself is stomach churning," Judge Michael Burnett said.

                   "It is an extremely sordid collection of material."

 

West's porn offending

Dates

April 8, 2016

June 25-26, 2016

July 2-3, 2016

Break down of files

About 3.5 million pornography files in total

Accessible porn images - 1,757,823

Unique porn images - 961,532

Porn movies - 50,737

Unique porn movies - 22,445

Of Child Porn

492, 705 child exploitation images

106, 462 unique child porn images

3,443 child porn videos

1,697 unique child porn videos

Crown Prosecutor Edward Fleetwood said the Biloela man came to the attention of police when he was accessing child exploitation material using BitTorrent - a download software provider.

He said from there, police executed a warrant on West's home and found 14 devices containing about 3.5 million files in adult and child porn of all six category types.

"While speaking with police, the defendant admitted to being addicted to pornography," Mr Fleetwood said.

"The defendant estimated the last download was the weekend prior to the search and the last time he specifically looked for child pornography was two weeks prior."

Defence Barrister Tom Polley said most of the child porn images were the lowest category.

"My client is addicted to porn generally," he said.

"He was downloading copious amounts of general pornography.

"The amount of pornography he was downloading was too much for one person to go through."

Mr Polley commented how it took a police officer one year to sort through all the porn his client had.

"After some time, he viewed child porn and became fascinated by it."

He said it wasn't a sexual attraction to young people, just curiosity type fascination with child porn.

Mr Polley said his client was downloading other people's entire porn collections which was where the first lot of child porn came from.

The court heard West was looking at a particular website that he knew would have child porn on it during one of his offending dates.

Mr Polley said West is the youngest of seven children raised by extremely strict Jehovah Witness parents.

He said his client described his strict childhood like 'fire and brimstone' type strictness.

Mr Polley said his parents put so much pressure on West to maintain religious commitments that when he finished high school at age 18 up until he left home and moved to England when he was 23, he only had the time for a part time job.

"There was no love or nurturing by his parents," he said.

Mr Polley said his client wasn't the only one of his siblings impacted by the strict home environment with four of his siblings having spent much of their adult lives in and out of jail with links to drugs.

When West was in England for 15 years, he worked full time for a hardware store and is in a de facto relationship with a woman who came with him when he returned to Australia in 2015.

Mr Polley submitted a report from West's psychologist who had diagnosed him with Hoarding Disorder after hearing about his porn collection and that he collected old TVs and toasters.

Judge Burnett commented during sentencing that the Hoarding Disorder did not explain why he pursued this material.

He ordered West serve a 2.3 year prison term to be suspended after five-months and operational for three years for the child porn charge. He will also be on a Good Behaviour bond for a three-year period upon his release from custody.

Topics:  andrew west child porn editors picks hoarding jehovahs witness judge michael burnett porn rockhampton district court


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