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Social networking and world technology connection concept, Businessman hand holding mobile phone with global network connection

‘Hello grandad’: Message lands sex offender in hot water

A GRANDFATHER who breached sex offender reporting requirements after receiving a message on social media from a grandchild after his release from prison, has been resentenced.

Mark Edwin George Hudson breached a suspended sentence handed down in Rockhampton District Court on March 14, 2019, after he pleaded guilty to distributing and possessing child exploitation material.

The Yeppoon grandfather received a 21 months' prison term, suspended after six months and operational for three years; along with 18 months' probation.

Hudson admitted to breaching the suspended sentence when he appeared, first in the Yeppoon Magistrates Court on June 25 (2020) where he was sentenced for failing to comply with reporting obligations automatically attached to the possession of child porn conviction.

The breach involved not reporting a two-year-old LinkedIn account, or a new Facebook account and associated email account.

Contact with children must be reported to authorities within 24 hours under legislative requirements.

The magistrates court sentence was four months prison, wholly suspended and operational for 18 months and a $1200 fine.

Hudson again admitted the breach when he appeared in Rockhampton District Court on August 25.

The court heard Hudson's original offending involved possessing more than 1000 child exploitation files, including 823 unique images and 25 unique videos, along with sharing a link to 100 child exploitation stories.

He made admissions to police he had been downloading the material over six months.

The second, and most recent, offences occurred after his release from prison.

He was meant to inform authorities of all existing social media and email accounts straight after prison release but forgot to tell them of a two-year-old LinkedIn account.

All new accounts must be reported to authorities within seven days.

Hudson told his probation officer, months later, of the contact by his granddaughter, and told them of a Facebook account, associated email account and the old LinkedIn account at the same time.

Defence lawyer Doug Winning said his retired client received the message from his granddaughter saying "hello grandad" through Instagram.

He said his client immediately handed the phone to his wife and she continued the communication via SMS.

Mr Winning said Hudson told his probation officer about the incident early this year (January 23) and police arrived at his Capricorn Coast home on February 22 and took his phone where the second Facebook account and associated email account were discovered, along with the forgotten LinkedIn account.

Judge Michael Burnett told Hudson he'd had his one chance now and should now understand the importance of the strict reporting guidelines.

He extended Hudson's suspended sentence operational period by six months.


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