Bullying, break-up blamed for seeking ‘solace’ in child porn

A RELATIONSHIP breakdown combined with childhood trauma were blamed as triggers for an Ipswich man seeking solace in child pornography.

Ipswich District Court heard 34-year-old Scott Siden knew exactly why police came knocking at his door in March, 2019.

He handed them his laptop computer containing the disturbing material.

Scott John William Siden on Monday pleaded guilty to possession of child exploitation material on March 6, 2019; and a Commonwealth offence of using a carriage service in 2018 to access child pornography.

Crown prosecutor Zoe Earl said the offences were detected when the Queensland Police Taskforce Argos investigated the sharing of child exploitation material.

Police went to Siden's family home and seized some of his electronic devices including phones and a laptop.

Forensic analysis found images and videos of child exploitation material on the laptop and further analysis using its LACE program revealed further images and videos.

Images found included those in the worst categories 4 and 5, with Ms Earl saying Siden downloaded in caches of around 100 images and videos.

The Crown acknowledged Siden had no prior criminal history.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC said there was some difficulty in deciding an appropriate penalty in that there was no real categorisation of images.

Judge Lynch said of the 204 images, 51 were in the worst categories, which was "comparatively small" compared to other cases before the courts.

Ms Earl said a psychologist's report found Siden had a moderate to low risk of offending again.

Defence barrister Anna Cappellano sought for Judge Lynch to find special circumstances existed.

She cited Siden's proactive efforts in getting professional help.

She said her client had been identified as having issues stemming from childhood bullying, and had spent many years with underlying depression.

Judge Lynch said it was significant that Siden had made full and frank admissions to police investigators, and was progressing with genuine efforts in rehabilitation, and also that he was ashamed of his actions, and had developed an insight into the reasons behind his offending as a coping mechanism after a relationship breakdown.

The judge noted Siden also had strong family support.

Finding that there were exceptional circumstances, Judge Lynch sentenced Siden to a 15-month jail term, suspended immediately with a two-year, $1000 good behaviour bond.

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