Generic Rockhampton Court.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Generic Rockhampton Court. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK270716ccourt2

Taskforce Argos nabs child porn gardener

A COUNCIL gardener will spend at least the next six months in prison after being sentenced for possessing over 3000 child exploitation images and videos.

Graeme David Waters, 40, was sentenced in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to one charge of possessing child exploitation material and two charges of downloading content.

Prosecutor Anna Ellis said Mr Waters accessed the material between June 30, 2014 and December 18, 2015.

Judge Michael Burnett went over Mr Waters' offending background when handing down his sentence.

Mr Waters was discovered by Taskforce Argos - a highly specialised branch of the Queensland Police Service responsible for the investigation of online child exploitation and abuse - when they were sweeping a file network.

The police found Mr Waters through his IP address as he downloaded seven images and two videos, which took four hours to download, the court heard.

Judge Burnett said the police searched Mr Waters' home and found a laptop and a desktop which, between the two, contained 3053 images and videos.

He said 75-80% of those were category one (images depicting nudity or erotic posing with no sexual activity) and the rest were a mix across the other four categories.

"About 15% consisted of category four material," Judge Burnett said.

Category four material shows penetrative sexual activity between adult(s) and child(ren).

"These are grossly offensive images and videos and would disgust most members of our community," Judge Burnett said after describing some of the material to the court.

"This offending will come as a great shock to many who know you."

He said he took into consideration when deciding Waters' sentence the fact Waters had told police he "did get sexual gratification from the material but outside viewing the material, you do not fantasise about having sex with children".

Defence solicitor Pierre Lammersdorf told the court Waters had worked as a gardener for council for the past 12 years and prior to that, worked in a slaughterhouse for 10 years.

He said his client had been married to his wife for 10 years, who knew about the charges and still supported him.

Waters also has a 20-year-old son from a previous relationship, the court heard.

Mr Lammersdorf said Waters had been diagnosed with major depression and long-term social anxiety and had been abusing alcohol and sleeping tablets at the time of offending.

"He struggles a lot with negative thinking and suicidal thoughts," he said.

Mr Lammersdorf said the charges had been pending for a year and his client had not reoffended in that time, nor breached his bail conditions.

Judge Burnett sentenced Waters to an 18-month prison term for two of the three charges, along with a two-year good behaviour period and $2000 worth of good behaviour bonds.

Waters will be eligible for parole six-months into the prison term.

Judge Burnett added a six-month prison sentence for the outstanding charge and a 12-month probation period.


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