Man charged with porn, attacks court
A NORTHERN RIVERS man charged with child pornography offences involving 19,000 images is under ‘house arrest’ after making threats to shoot staff at the Lismore Courthouse.
The man, 25, who cannot be identified under an ongoing court order, was yesterday granted bail with stringent conditions after appearing before Magistrate Robyn Denes in the Lismore Local Court.
The man is yet to lodge a plea to three Crown charges of possessing child pornography in March 2008. The Crown stated the images were of teenage girls aged about 13, 14 and 15.
Magistrate Nicholas Reimer last Thursday ordered the man be placed into police custody and taken to the Richmond Clinic for mental health assessment following his verbal outbursts at a court hearing, including loud interjections saying: ‘I’m not a pedophile, I’m not a sick person’.
The man even called out saying: ‘The pictures are not even that bad’ and the matter was a waste of court time.
His father in evidence said the outbursts were due to his son being upset and ‘stressed out of his mind’.
With the man brought back from hospital to the court yesterday, Magistrate Denes said the doctors found he was not mentally ill.
Ms Denes said she had material before her about threats the man had made, but she would allow bail under stringent conditions.
The conditions include a $5000 surety and an order that he remain under constant parental supervision and not leave the family home except in their company.
“I am basically intending to put him under house arrest, if that’s the terminology,” she said.
“Threats were made to court staff and lawyers involved. He told hospital staff he was going to shoot or kill people at the court, and that he had access to firearms.”
Ms Denes ordered the man to surrender all firearms.
“I don’t know if you do have them, but you told doctors you have access to them,” she said.
Ms Denes said that after two years the matter could not continue to go on indefinitely and the court expected a plea ‘to be indicated’ at the next court date in March.
It was also revealed the man now had another senior lawyer to represent him – his third since the matter began.
A Sydney psychologist gave evidence last week the man had an untreated mental illness with emerging psychosis. And it was suggested such an illness was complicated by his past substance abuse.
The man was only recently placed on an anti-psychotic medication.
Magistrate Reimer on Thursday rejected a defence application to deal with the case under mental health provisions. He concluded it should be dealt with by law, meaning court-ordered treatment could be monitored long term.
Mr Reimer said he accepted the diagnosis of a mental disorder, but the court could not be satisfied the man would follow a treatment plan because there had been no commitment by him to such a plan.
“The community views child pornography with a great deal of displeasure,” he said.