Shane Watson received a suspended jail term for possessing child exploitation material.
Shane Watson received a suspended jail term for possessing child exploitation material.

Woman finds 100s of child porn photos on partner’s iPad

A father who was busted with hundreds of child porn photos told police he only made the "stupid mistake" when he was high on meth, a court heard.

Hundreds of child exploitation images were found on Shane Malcolm Watson's devices when police searched his Mooloolaba house.

The Maroochydore District Court heard Watson's partner was looking through his iPad when she found the concerning images on July 5, last year.

She took them to police.

The court heard Watson, 39, admitted to police he had child exploitation material on his Facebook Messenger account, iPad and mobile phone.

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"He admitted to using his mobile phone to search for images on the internet of females aged 10 and above," crown prosecutor Nicola Hamilton said.

"He stated he would use search terms such as 'jail bait', 'overseas family nudist camps' and 'crazy holidays'.

"Once he located an image, he would take a photo of the screen using his phone camera and send the photo from his Messenger account to a fake Messenger account he had registered in a different name."

The court heard Watson admitted to police he was doing it for over a year but had not done it since he changed jobs and moved back to the Sunshine Coast.

"He stated he was under the dangerous drug methampethamine when he engaged in the conduct and said it was a stupid mistake and he no longer used dangerous drugs," Ms Hamilton said.

The court heard 118 accessible photos and 639 inaccessible images, all in Category 1 were found on Watson's devices.

Category 1 is the lowest end of the scale and means no children were involved in sexual acts.

The court heard the majority of Watson's photos were of pre-pubescent girls wearing little or no clothing in sexually provocative poses.

Some of the photos had close up of the child's genitals, with some children estimated to be as young as five.

Watson pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court on Thursday to possessing child exploitation material.

Watson's solicitor David James said Watson had since sought help and was at a low risk of reoffending.

The court heard Watson had been diagnosed with asperger's syndrome and struggled with having relationships with women.

Watson had no criminal history.

He is a father to a young son.

Judge Gary Long said he needed to create a deterrence for people possessing images where children suffered horrific abuse.

"This offending appears to be out of context with what other people have said about you and your life generally," he said.

Mr Long said Watson seemed to be remorseful for his actions and had gained insight for what he had done.

"You are well motivated to continue to seek the assistance you need," Mr Long said.

Watson was sentenced to one year in jail, wholly suspended for two years.