Alfred Simon Burger

Posted: October 20, 2012 by Serendipity in Location, Queensland
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Man jailed for downloading child porn

A Currimumdi man with “cultish beliefs” was jailed yesterday for possessing thousands of child pornography images and videos.

Alfred Simon Berger, 62, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to possessing 2605 child pornography images and 61 videos.

Interpol, the world’s largest international police organisation, notified Australian Federal Police when they detected Mr Berger had downloaded eight indecent images in August, 2007.

They had conducted an international investigation into “a phenomenal” 12-million child pornography downloads from a Croatian website, masquerading as an astronomy site, over three days.

But Mr Berger had visited at least 30 websites over nine months – downloading sexually explicit content of children aged seven to 17.

Most of the children were aged 13 to 17.

Police found downloaded images and videos on CDs, a hard drive and an external drive when they searched Mr Berger’s home in May, 2008.

The court heard the self-employed electrician found the material “fascinating” and he did not believe the children were innocent.

“Nobody is innocent,” he told them.

The Commonwealth prosecutor told the court that 85% of child exploitation material found in Australia was downloaded via the internet.

“Such offences are extremely difficult to detect especially with constant evolution of technology,” she said.

“Without people searching for child pornography, there would be no market for the product.

“It is estimated more than 1000 children aged seven to 17 have been victimised in order to create the material found in the accused’s possession.”

Barrister Les Hanslow-Hastie said his client had been married for 37 years and had five daughters, four of whom had not spoken to him since his arrest.

He said his client had been a missionary for six years with the Presbyterian church but he had been cast from the church because of his extreme beliefs, including pre-determination, and giving into the temptation of porn magazines and sites.

Judge John Robertson said Mr Berger had extreme religious beliefs “bordering on fanatical” which might partly explain his comment to police about innocence.

Mr Berger was sentenced to 18 months jail and two years of probation. He will be released after serving six months in custody on a $1000 12-month good behaviour bond.


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