Kiwi cops catch Rocky grandad in child porn sting
A CHILD porn offender was supported by his wife of 43 years as he faced Rockhampton District Court yesterday charged with possession of 56 child porn files.
James Robert Edward Betts was online in December last year talking to 'Suzie10' when he was finally caught.
The little girl he invited into a chatroom turned out to be an undercover New Zealand police officer and Betts' game was up.
The 61-year-old grandfather from Koongal had spent half and hour talking with 'Suzie10' and during that time he shared 19 pornographic images of mainly young girls aged between six and 12.
The crown prosecution yesterday told court that Betts had invited others into the chat room and had also used Skype to send four child porn files to two different users on two different occasions.
The court heard that Betts had accessed the material between July 2015 and February 2016.
Defence barrister, Tom Polley said his client's life started on a downward spiral after the sudden death of his only son in a 2011 and his son-in-law's death in a car accident soon after.
"Since then, Betts has suffered three strokes and had a triple bypass," Mr Polley said.
"Prior to his son's death, his life consisted of working long hours and spending time with his family.
"Since 2011, he's really just migrated from the lounge room to the bedroom."
Judge Michael Burnett appeared troubled by Betts' comments that if child porn was illegal, then police should shut down the sites instead of blaming him.
Judge Burnett said the court had a duty to deter this kind of criminal activity particularly when the victims, the unknown children in the material, were vulnerable, innocent children from disadvantaged circumstances and mostly third world countries.
"It is hard to shut down these sites," he told Betts, adding he didn't know how anyone could look at the images.
"I have no doubt it has horrified your wife."
Betts pleaded guilty to the offences and was sentenced to 10 months in jail with a minimum two months non-parole period, a two-year good behaviour bond and a 12-month probation period on release from jail.
Child Porn categories
1 - images depicting nudity or erotic posing, with no sexual activity
2 - sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child
3 - non-penetrative sexual activity between adult(s) and child(ren)
4 - penetrative sexual activity between adult(s) and child(ren)
5 - sadism or bestiality