Lawyers claim child porn ringleader may self harm in jail

A SOCIAL outcast, who claimed he set up a mega child pornography website so he could meet new friends, has failed in an appeal of his four year jail sentence.

From the Ipswich home where he cared for his mother and grandmother, Jesse John Howe, 29, supplied a constant feed of depraved child sex videos and photos to a welcoming audience of online predators.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Tuesday many of the images supplied by Howe over several years were considered to be in the worst categories - depicting adults having sex with pre-pubescent children and babies, sadism, humiliation and bestiality.

Via a raft of file sharing programs, Howe was said to have owned, shared and made available vision of up to 5000 child sex victims.

Raids of his home uncovered more than 4000 child exploitation images on six separate storage devices and a magazine and book providing instructions on how to sexually abuse a child.

Howe previously pleaded guilty in March last year to using a carriage service to access or make available child pornography and possessing child exploitation material. He was sentenced to a total of four years to be suspended after serving one year, nine months.

His lawyers appealed the sentence on the grounds Howe was in his early 20s when the offending occurred and was at serious risk of self harm in jail.

They relied on a psychologist report which suggested Howe had struggled with his sexuality in his teen years and "became obsessed with a child pornography internet site for the social involvement it provided him and had to maintain his downloading of child pornography material to maintain those social contacts".

Howe was said to have shut down his child pornography site in 2010 amid feelings of torment and guilt and had since sought treatment. He had also assisted police by allowing them to assume his online aliases for further investigations.

But Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Principal Federal Prosecutor Krista Breckweg argued the offending was "extremely serious" and affected thousands of children, the majority of whom were pre-pubescent boys and infants.

She said there was a "paramount public interest objective" in protecting children from being sexually abused "in order to supply the market".

A panel of three judges agreed, released a finding on Tuesday that "this was very serious offending affecting the most innocent members of society by assisting in their corruption and exploitation".

The application for leave to appeal was refused.



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