Bernd Schnull

Posted: February 14, 2013 by Serendipity in Victoria
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Melb man jailed for baby porn possession

3:33pm February 13, 2013

A Melbourne man who downloaded 45,000 “abhorrent” images of children engaged in sexual acts has been jailed for at least 16 months.

Bernd Schnull, 62, was jailed for 34 months in the Victorian County Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to accessing and possessing child porn.

He had used peer-to-peer file sharing websites such as eMule to download 45,287 images and 1611 videos of child pornography, depicting victims aged between six months and 16 years old.

Of those, nearly 200 images and 53 videos were considered to be in the worst category of child pornography.

In sentencing Schnull, Judge Mark Gamble said some of the material showed child victims in situations where they would have felt pain, confusion and humiliation.

“What was depicted was abhorrent,” he said.

Judge Gamble said he took into account Schnull’s early guilty plea, previous good character, lack of prior convictions, good prospects of rehabilitation and the fact he had voluntarily sought professional help for his problem.

The court heard Schnull gained no sexual arousal from the material, but did it out of boredom, claiming he was attracted to the novelty and driven by curiosity.

He told police the images were like a “forbidden fruit”, but he had no sexual attraction toward children and could not see himself performing those acts.

Schnull, of Warranwood, will be released from jail after 16 months on a recognisance order which requires him to be of good behaviour for 18 months.

Man watched child porn for ‘stress relief’, court hears

January 29, 2013 – 3:56PM

Mark Russell

A man caught with more than 45,000 images and 1600 videos of child pornography on his computer told police he had no sexual interest in children, a court heard today.

Bernd Schnull, 62, of Warranwood, claimed watching child pornography helped to relieve his stress and anxiety over the problems he was having with his wife at home.

Schnull would download the images in his study where you needed an access code to get into the room. He would come home from work and go straight on to his computer.

Schnull pleaded guilty in the County Court on Tuesday to one count of accessing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography involving children aged from six months to 16.

He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years’ jail.

Prosecutor Samantha Holmes told the court Schnull had downloaded a total of 45,287 images and 1611 videos between August 8, 2011, and March 20, 2012.

The police measure child pornography on a scale, with level five being the worst. Schnull had nearly 200 images in the level 5 category.

Schnull was arrested during a joint state and federal police operation aimed at smashing a child pornography ring operating on Australia’s eastern seaboard.

He was one of 16 men arrested after police raided 19 properties in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT.

But defence barrister Sandy Robertson said Schnull had been acting alone and did not take part in any chat rooms on child pornography or share any files.

Mr Robertson said Schnull sought psychological treatment after his arrest to try to understand his offending.

He said Schnull claimed to have stumbled across the child pornography and was “caught in a web of depraved vile images”.

Schnull knew what he was doing was illegal but watching child porn helped to ease his boredom at home and the lack of intimacy with his wife.

Judge Mark Gamble, who briefly adjourned the plea hearing after being asked by the prosecutor to view a sample of 40 images taken from Schnull’s computer, said sexual stimulation must have played a role in Schnull’s offending.

Judge Gamble said Schnull had gone to a great deal of trouble to download the images, including securing his study so others could not get in.

Mr Robertson said it was difficult for Schnull to explain but he had been attracted by the novelty of the images and was driven by curiosity.

Downloading thousands of images became a compulsive habit.

Mr Robertson conceded there must have been an element of sexual stimulation for Schnull otherwise he wouldn’t have bothered.

Since undergoing therapy in August last year, Schnull, who had had little empathy for the victims, was now ashamed and remorseful and realised his actions had helped feed the market for child pornography.

A psychological report indicated Schnull did not fit the profile of a repeat sexual offender and was unlikely to reoffend.

In his letter of apology read to the court, Schnull said he felt revulsion for what he had done and realised he needed help.

Ms Holmes said Schnull, a father of four, should be jailed for at least 18 months and placed on the sexual offenders register for 15 years given the seriousness of the offending and nature and amount of material seized.

Judge Gamble will sentence Schnull on February 13.


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  1. SB_Australia says:

    Seriously? 18 months? That magistrate is an arse.

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