A ROCKHAMPTON District Court judge has expressed his concern a 24-year-old's family and friends would first hear about his child porn charges "in the paper the next day".
Bradley John Anderson sat in the dock in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday sobbing as his legal representative read out the details of his charges.
Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child exploitation material - Anderson had 17,673 images ranging from category one (least serious) to category six (most serious).
On May 8 last year Anderson was charged with the serious offence - but he had not told a single person of his offences, including his family, friends and employer.
Anderson's defence barrister Maree Willey said Anderson, 24, did not tell his family because they would be "crushed".
"It (offending) started by (Anderson) logging into an adult site, he followed a link and then searched using 'teen'," Ms Willey said.
"The majority of the images... are category one."
Of the images, 44 were category two, 72 were category three, 70 were category four and 36 were category five.
Category five images include those depicting sadism and beastiality.
The children in the images Anderson had downloaded aged upwards from "approximately ten years old".
Crown Prosecutor Dean Jones said Anderson told police he had been downloading the images for about a year before he was caught.
It was only when Anderson took his laptop in to be repaired that the company fixing it found the images and immediately contacted police.
"It is the sheer volume of images that is the aggravating circumstance in this case," Mr Jones said.
Ms Willey said Anderson, who worked for Telstra as a field technician, was active in the Rockhampton community - playing sport and volunteering.
"Your Honour, we really can't say why he has done what he has done," Ms Willey said.
"He says he is not sure he can continue to live in Rockhampton after today... he is so mortified."
But Judge Michael Burnett was particularly concerned that Anderson had not sought any treatment - or accepted responsibility by telling his friends and family.
"He hasn't been prepared to tell those that will find out... he is living in a state of denial, because it is plainly going to come out," Judge Burnett said.
"The knowledge is going to be crushing... because he has withheld that for 12 months.
"I think as a parent I would be devastated if my child had come to me 12 months after being picked up for an offence like this... and read about it in the paper the next day.
"There are victims in this case that don't even know they are victims."
When sentencing Anderson, Judge Burnett said the images involved varied from selfies to professional-taken photos.
He said Anderson had admitted to police he was saving the images for self gratification purposes.
"Saving the images you found sexually arousing, so you could, quote, 'do your thing' them to," Judge Burnett read from a police report.
Judge Burnett then outlined the contents of some of the images involved, which were "entirely exploitative" in nature.
Anderson was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended after three months with an operational period of three years.