Stephen Peter James Bennet

Posted: October 17, 2012 by Serendipity in Queensland, Suspended Sentence

No jail time for child abuse images

Leah Fineran   |  05:33pm March 29, 2012

A GOLD Coast man busted with 1074 child abuse images on his home computers and hard drive has escaped time behind bars.

Stephen Peter James Bennet , 29, today pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court to accessing child pornography material online and three counts of storing it between 2008 and 2010.

Commonwealth prosecutor Dearne Galbraith said the photos and videos found on his two laptops and a hard drive depicted hundreds of children from babies to teenagers.

She told the court 21 images were classed as being in the worst category of exploitation materials.

Barrister Bernard Reilly said Bennet had begun accessing adult porn as a teenager and turned to child porn in 2008 while suffering from depression and a compulsive behaviour disorder.

Reilly said since Bennet was charged he had voluntarily sought intensive psychological therapy to rehabilitate himself.

In sentencing Judge Clive Wall QC noted a doctor’s report praising Bennet’s progress and warning that actual jail time could be extremely detrimental to his rehabilitation.

“From his report you seem to be a different person to who you were two years ago … and for the better,” Judge Wall said.

He convicted and sentenced Bennet to 18 months’ jail for accessing the images but granted him immediate release on the condition he submit to a two-year good behaviour order and probation.

For the three counts of possessing the child abuse images Bennet was sentenced to two concurrent 12-month suspended sentences and 240 hours of community service.

His laptops and hard drive were forfeited to the Crown.


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