A GLADSTONE man who took photos of a nine year old girl's breasts and genitals while she was sleeping and fondled her at the same time has had his jail term reduced after appealing to Queensland's highest court.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty to taking eight photos of his fiance's daughter, including images that showed him touching her genitals.
The girl remained asleep at the time and the man emailed the photos to his computer before deleting them from it and his phone.
Two days later, the girl's mother found the photos in his deleted emails and called police.
He told police he had felt "disgusted and sick" about what he had done.
In February this year he was sentenced to 18 months jail, suspended after serving six months, for making child exploitation material and two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12 years old.
The man took this to the Court of Appeal, claiming the sentence was excessive and that the judge did not make a finding of "exceptional circumstances".
In his judgment published on Friday, Court of Appeal Justice Martin Burns said the man had mental disorders and had taken Valium the night he took the photos.
Justice Burns referred to a psychiatrist's report that said this would have resulted in the man's impaired judgment.
A close friend of the man's had also died days earlier and the man's lawyers argued these factors warranted him to be sentenced under "exceptional circumstances".
Justice Burns said the sentencing judge did not make an error but that the judge's attention could have been more effectively drawn to the man's mental health.
The Court of Appeal ordered he be released on probation for two years, with a condition he undertake psychiatric treatment. The court also ordered the 18-month jail sentence be suspended immediately.
The court made the orders in June and the results and reasons were published online on Friday.
- APN NEWSDESK