CRAIG Andrew Bower left his mobile phone unlocked and open on a website in January when his wife decided to check, a court heard yesterday.
She saw several pictures of naked or minimally clothed young girls who appeared to be aged between four and 10.
Bower was told to delete the photos because they were inappropriate, which he did, but his wife notified police about them.
Officers, armed with a search warrant four days later on January 21, seized Bower’s phone.
He provided the phone number and password, but police discovered all the images had been deleted.
They were told by Bower: “There’s pictures of young people, but not porn.”
The phone was seized for forensic examination, which revealed a total of 9227 images.
A random sample of more than 5000 images was done, which showed 529 were classified as category one under the Child Exploitation Tracking Scheme.
Bower, 44, of Kemp Street, Lavington, appeared in Albury Local Court yesterday for sentencing on a charge of possessing child abuse material.
Solicitor Paul Robb said the images were at the lower end of scale for this type of offending.
Mr Robb said Bower suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and now realised the seriousness of the charges.
“He clearly has a psychological condition,” Mr Robb said.
Magistrate Tony Murray said the images showed naked children with some in suggestive poses.
He said Bower claimed when interviewed for a pre-sentence report that he obtained no gratification from the images and blamed his wife for reporting the matter.
“I place on the court record that she should be commended for it,” Mr Murray replied to him.
“It is some concern to the court that you do not see yourself as a sex offender.”
Bower was sentenced to an eight-month jail term, with a minimum period of three months.
Mr Murray said hopefully others would be deterred from similar offending when they heard what had happened to Bower.
Mr Robb lodged a severity appeal against the penalty on behalf of Bower and he was released on bail.
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