Convicted killer released on bail with child porn charges
A MAN who has previously been convicted of manslaughter has been released on bail after he was charged with two counts of possessing child exploitation material.
Two thumb drives containing the material was allegedly found by John Joseph Beltrame's housemate in his room after he moved out earlier this year.
The 55-year-old Proston man was granted bail by Magistrate Louisa Pink in Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
JA Carroll defence lawyer Mark Werner said Beltrame would be pleading not guilty to the two counts of possessing child exploitation material.
Mr Werner said the defendant had allegedly had a disagreement with his flatmates before he moved out over New Year's.
He said a flatmate had allegedly taken documents in line with identity theft after the argument.
Police will allege the flatmate then found the thumb drives in the defendant's former room on January 9, 2020.
Police prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens opposed the bail application due to a risk of failing to appear, interfering with witnesses and obstructing the course of justice.
"There's no such thing as not unpleasant child exploitation material and the age of the children involved in the material is of a concern," Sgt Stevens said.
Ms Pink said the prosecution case relied on his criminal history including a manslaughter conviction in 1994 and a serious conviction of disabling an order to commit an indictable offence in 2013.
The court heard the offence in question occurred sometime between February 28, 2019 and New Year's Day, as Beltrame was only released February last year from a six-year prison sentence for the 2013 conviction.
Sgt Stevens was also concerned with the defendant's psychological assessment revealing an impulsivity and a lack of empathy.
Ms Pink said the assessment by forensic psychologists also revealed he had a moderate to a moderate-high risk of committing further offences.
The magistrate said the prosecutor's concerns could be addressed through bail restrictions.
Beltrame will need to report to the Murgon officer in charge three times a week and he will not be able to approach the witnesses.
"It appears they allege he has previously threatened them, with verbal threats being at the heart of those allegations," Ms Pink said.
The defendant must not use any computer, mobile phone or tablet to access the internet.
She permitted the former interstate truck driver to access internet for the purposes of job seeking on a publicly accessible computer only.
Beltrame must also report to the officer in charge of child abuse and sexual crime group at Brisbane if he is to change his address.
Ms Pink said the case would be mentioned in the magistrates court for committal mention on July 21, but would likely move to the district court.
"These are undoubtedly serious charges and will need to be dealt with in the higher courts," Ms Pink said.