Brian Peter Rogers (right) leaves court after pleading guilty to possessing child exploitation material. Photo: Elyse Wurm
Brian Peter Rogers (right) leaves court after pleading guilty to possessing child exploitation material. Photo: Elyse Wurm

Few days in jail deemed enough for man with child sex images

A CANNONVALE volunteer found with more than 200 images of child exploitation material has a jail sentence hanging over his head for the next two years.

Brian Peter Rogers spent three days in police custody following the offences, but was spared further time in jail when he was sentenced in Mackay District Court on Monday.

Crown legal officer Ryan Godfrey said in July 2018 police searched Rogers' boat in relation to other matters and found 201 pieces of child exploitation material on various devices including a laptop and USB.

The court heard the photos ranged in severity from category one, including photos of clothed pre-pubescent girls with camera shots focused on their genital area, to category four, which included images of an adult penis in the mouth and vagina of a young child.

 

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"When he was told the next day of the child exploitation material he told police he knew nothing about it," Mr Godfrey said.

But on Monday Rogers pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child exploitation material.

Mr Godfrey told the court Rogers had spent three days in custody and a jail sentence was no longer a last resort.

Defence barrister Stephen Byrne, for Rogers, told the court the 62-year-old man had held senior positions throughout his working life and also given his time to volunteer organisations.

This included doing rescues and radio operations for marine rescue organisations along the Queensland coast as well as volunteering with Coast Guard and Reef Check Australia.

Mr Byrne said Rogers faced various mental and physical health challenges including PTSD.

Most of the images found in Rogers' possession were in categories of lower severity for child exploitation material, Mr Byrne said.

A Cannonvale man admitted to possessing child exploitation material.
A Cannonvale man admitted to possessing child exploitation material.

"He is going to be publicly shamed by the process, there will be a conviction recorded and he'll be subject to reporting for five years," Mr Byrne said.

During sentencing, Judge Julie Dick told Rogers the law stated offenders who possessed child exploitation material had to go to jail, unless there were extraordinary circumstances.

"Although these images are always revolting, in the scheme of what we see in these courts … this is relatively low in number and relatively low in nature," Judge Dick said.

Judge Dick stressed the children pictured for exploitation were real children.

 

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"These things wouldn't be happening to them unless there was a market for it," she said.

"So the idea is if we can close the market, maybe there will be less treatment like this for children.

"I get that it might seem like it's a television show or someone is acting but it's not, these are real kids."

Judge Dick noted Rogers had a good work history and had served the community.

"It's a shame to see a man of your calibre in the dock, in the district court," she said.

Rogers was sentenced to a year in jail to be suspended after three days, which he had already served in custody before his court appearance.

The suspended sentence will hang over his head for two years and convictions were recorded.


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