Father jailed for child porn

WHEN Robert Craske clicked on and downloaded hundreds of images of child pornography he did not foresee the offensive material he viewed would drag him before a courtroom.

Craske, 35, of Woodburn, was jailed for six months yesterday after pleading guilty in the Lismore Local Court to the charge of using the internet to access child pornography on October 14, 2008.

Sentenced to 12 months’ jail, with a non-parole of six months, Magistrate Robyn Denes took into account time already served, making Craske eligible for release in late April.

Defence lawyer Ralph James had argued his client should be released immediately from custody as he had already served just over four months following his arrest after returning from a trip to Thailand.

In Crown facts before the court, Craske was caught out when he took his computer to a Lismore repair technician who discovered the cache of stored material and reported it to police.

The material included females aged under 16 posed in a sexual manner, along with more explicit material.

Before he was charged Craske, in a police interview, blamed the images on ‘pop ups’ he said would occur while using his computer.

He told police he had been using a free porn site that was ‘obviously a dodgy website’ and he should have known better.

More than 1700 images were selected as being offensive and considered by police to constitute child pornography. There were also cartoons or drawn pictures of very young females engaging in sexual activity.

Analysis revealed Craske had used certain search words to access the offensive images.

Police used the European child pornography scale COPINE (that uses categories of one to 10, with 10 being the most offensive). Seventeen images fitted the worst category (which can include images that are sadistic/showing children bound or gagged). Thirty images were analysed at level nine (includes grossly obscene), with a total of 957 images classified at level five – erotic posing of children.

In his submission, Mr James argued the material downloaded by Craske was not the worst type of offending and had been only for his personal use.

“Overwhelmingly 88 per cent of the material falls in the mid-range of the scale,” he said.

Ms Denes said the facts revealed 800 separate females were depicted in the images.

She said the activities of collectors of such pornography must be ‘stifled’ because it involved the corruption of children who were unable to protect themselves.

“It is no longer considered a victimless crime because people who access these images drive the market,” she said.

Ms Denes said a man like Craske, who was a father, could sit comfortably at home and ‘one must wonder if he gave these children any thought’.

“These images can’t come into existence without the abuse of children somewhere in the world,” she said.

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