A former home daycare worker who was caught with child abuse material on his phone said he was sent the material for “altruistic” purposes, a court has heard.
A former home daycare worker who was caught with child abuse material on his phone said he was sent the material for “altruistic” purposes, a court has heard.

Daycare worker says child abuse material was 'altruistic'

A FORMER Cairns home daycare worker who was caught with child abuse material on his phone said he was sent the material for "altruistic" purposes, a court has heard.

In August 2018, Francis Ranji Paramaguru, who was doing the bookkeeping for the facility on Lake St, which no longer operates, was arrested when he re-entered Australia after a joint operation between the Child Protection and Investigation Unit, Australian Federal Police and Border Force. Paramaguru, 59, appeared in Cairns District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of intentionally importing tier two goods without approval.

The court heard that upon arriving at Sydney International Airport from Singapore, Border Force officers found eight videos classified as child abuse material with one depicting child exploitation in Paramaguru's bags.

He initially told police the material automatically downloaded on to his phone when he re-entered the country.

Paramaguru initially told police the material automatically downloaded onto his phone when he re-entered the country.
Paramaguru initially told police the material automatically downloaded onto his phone when he re-entered the country.

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Defence barrister James Sheridan said the offending was "disturbing and abhorrent to any right-minded individual". He said his client was involved in a social media group, described as being "altruistic in nature", whose members had sent him the material. "He stupidly got caught up with this group that shared those videos in the hope the children can be identified," he said.

Mr Sheridan argued for his client not to serve any jail time, saying his poor health conditions would be detrimental to the purpose of jail time.

The barrister said his client should receive a lenient sentence because no encryption was involved, he did not request the material, and did not derive pleasure from the videos.

Cairns Courthouse. Picture: Brendan Radke.
Cairns Courthouse. Picture: Brendan Radke.

Crown prosecutor Daniel Whitmore said the defendant initially downplayed the seriousness of the incident.

"But by his plea of guilty, he knew they were on there before he came to Australia," he said. "General deterrence is a key (in sentencing)."

Chief judge Brian Devereaux said the material was "seriously disturbing" that required a sentence to deter others. He sentenced Paramaguru to 12 months' jail, but released him based on a $500 security bond and to be of good behaviour for two years.

The charges of possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to transmit and access child ­pornography material were dropped.

Originally published as 'Abhorrent': Daycare says child porn was for altruistic reasons


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