"Naïve" ex-child care centre director shared child porn

A GRAFTON man struggling with his homosexuality and religious beliefs used child porn to please a man he was attracted to.

Instead, Daniel Patrick Maher's behaviour landed him a jail sentence.

The 30-year-old had moved to Cairns and was a child care centre director when he began sharing photos of boys aged between five and eight years with Mark Lawless in Texas.

Maher used Skype to share 13 images, that were not all sexual, and discussed what he liked about the boys with Lawless.

He met the man through a gay couple who allowed their adopted son to be molested in the US.

Peter Truong and Mark Newton invited Maher to live with them in Cairns after they met online through photography website Flickr while he lived in Grafton.

Maher idolised the men as a successful gay couple with a child - something he aspired to.

He said he did not realise they were allowing the boy to be molested.

The photos he shared included a photo of the couple's child and children related to Maher.

Judge Michael Burnett said he accepted a psychologist's report tendered in Brisbane District Court detailing how Maher had struggled to accept his sexuality, having come from a conservative Christian family.

Maher was described in the report as naïve and Judge Burnett accepted arguments Truong and Newton had "groomed" him.

Maher received a 12-month sentence, but only needs to complete one month in jail.

He has already spent 27 days in pre-sentence custody.

Judge Burnett ordered he be released on a $1000 good behaviour bond and go on probation for two years to ensure he received the treatment the psychologist suggested.

- APN NEWSDESK


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