Former Stanthorpe Ambulance Station Officer-in-Charge Bill Martin.
Former Stanthorpe Ambulance Station Officer-in-Charge Bill Martin. Katie Cameron

Former ambo to do time in prison

HE WAS a trusted member of the community, a former senior officer with the Queensland Ambulance Service and described as a "good guy".

However, 52-year-old William "Bill" Martin was hiding a dark secret from his friends, family and the people of Stanthorpe.

Martin faced Toowoomba District Court last Thursday and was sentenced to 18 months jail after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Martin pleaded guilty to one count of using the internet to access child porn material and two counts of possessing child exploitation material.

The trial was not expected to be held until this Thursday, but was moved when Martin notified prosecutors he would enter an early guilty plea.

Pending good behaviour, Martin will spend three months in prison and serve a two-year good behaviour bond on release.

Martin also forfeited his computer to the Crown.

"The charges arose from a police search warrant on Martin at his home in June 2014 and the finding of a large amount of child exploitation material on his personal computer," Officer-in-Charge, Stanthorpe Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), Senior Sergeant Damian Grace said.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman told the Stanthorpe Border Post that Martin's employment status had been under review since learning of his sentencing on Thursday.

"Mr Martin will be notified about his future employment status with the QAS in writing," he said.

"The QAS has a zero-tolerance policy on crimes of this nature.

"Mr Martin was stood down by the QAS with full pay the day after he was arrested and charged.

"Since that time he did not work or have access to the (Stanthorpe) station."

The spokesperson said staff members facing charges, no matter the size, were entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

He reassured the public that every step in the disciplinary process had been followed and they should remain confident in the QAS.

"Any sort of allegation raised by a staff member or member of the public is treated with the utmost respect," the spokesman said.

"We take these matters very, very seriously.

"No matter how big or small the allegations are, they are immediately investigated."