Vile spam images lands grandfather in court
A Sunshine Coast grandfather who failed to delete child abuse images he had been sent as spam has narrowly avoided jail.
Alexander James Cohen, 72, of Golden Beach, was found with 25 explicit images and videos of children on his phone after landing at the Brisbane International Airport from a holiday in Thailand on October 16 last year.
The Brisbane District Court was told that Cohen, a surf lifesaving volunteer of more than 25 years, had been sent the vile images of children aged 4-11 by a stranger through a messaging app he used to keep in contact with his overseas friends.
Australian Border Force questioned Cohen, who admitted he had been sent the material three months earlier and had deleted some of them, but had been "too slack" to delete them all.
Cohen appeared in court on Wednesday morning where he pleaded guilty to intentionally importing tier two goods.
His barrister Nicholas Brown said it was an "exceptional case" because he had not sought out the content and Queensland Police had found no further material on his laptop at his home.
"He's not sat down and … actively searched for any of this material. It was simply spammed to him," Mr Brown said.
The court heard Cohen, a grandfather of five and great grandfather of one, would lose his blue card as a result of the charge and would be unable to continue his charity work with surf lifesaving.
Judge Michael Byrne QC said it was a "finely balanced" case.
"Your instructions are that you have no interest in child pornography, but it just beggar's belief given that you did not delete all of them," Judge Byrne said.
Cohen was sentenced to 8 months' jail.
He was given immediate release on the condition he be of good behaviour for three years.
Originally published as Vile spam images lands grandfather in court