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Global sting finds man's stash of 67,000 child porn images

MATTHEW Alexander Robertson's child pornography collection was so big, it raised the attention of international authorities.

Robertson appeared in Gladstone District Court after he was caught by an international operation sting cracking down on child exploitation.

He appeared on 51 counts of possessing child exploitation material and one charge of using the postal service to carry pornography.

Robertson was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for each and every charge.

More than 67,000 images and 975 movies were located by police at the 47-year-old defendant's home on June 15, 2013.

The material was scattered across several different mediums including CDs, DVDs, USBs, laptops and computers.

Robertson was one of 32 Queenslanders and 65 Australians charged over the production, possession and sale of commercial child exploitation films.

He was in company with 347 offenders globally, ranging from all walks of life including teachers, accountants, bank managers and carers.

The investigation began in 2010 when Toronto police in Canada launched an undercover operation known as Project Spade following complaints of a website selling "naturist" films that were actually exploitation movies.

In February 2013, Task Force Argos - a Queensland Police operation - was contacted by its Canadian counterparts with a list of suspected Queenslanders involved.

Mr Robertson's name was on that list, possessing "rather disturbing images and very disturbing movies involving child penetration", according to Crown prosecutor Matt Hynes.

The bulk of the material featured children under the age of 10.

"This is not a victimless crime," Mr Hynes stated.

"These are real live children. Matthew Robertson's possession of it perpetuates the industry of child sex."

Defence barrister David Murray submitted a psychological assessment of his client, which stated he had lived a "secluded and lonely lifestyle for much of his life".

"It is not a glowing report, but an accurate one," Mr Murray told the court.

The psychological assessment by a Dr Keen noted that Robertson held a moderate risk of reoffending in the future.

Judge Brendan Butler ordered the immediate forfeiture of the material.

An order was made for Robertson's release in six months.

Topics:  child abuse child porn gladstone district court


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