'Loner' on two years probation
AN INGLEWOOD man described as "a loner" has walked free from court after pleading guilty to possessing around 138 child abuse images on DVDs and his mobile phone.
Paul Jason Brigden appeared in Warwick District Court yesterday where the court heard police located the offensive materials in his home in May of last year.
A total of 35 DVDs containing 103 child abuse images and a mobile phone holding 35 abusive images were uncovered at the 39-year-old's home.
Crown Prosecutor Noel Needham told the court the images on the DVDs were "an even split" between sexualised images of children and child-adult penetration.
The child abuse material on the mobile phone included images of masturbation, oral sex and penetration.
Mr Needham told the court a significant amount of adult pornography was also located during the search and the child abuse images represented a "fraction" of the entire material.
The court heard Brigden lived in Inglewood at the time the material was uncovered but had since moved 25km out of town with his parents.
Mr Needham told the court he was seeking a jail term for Brigden, saying the DVD images were in a lasting format and the mobile phone images could have been easily shown to others or distributed.
Brigden's barrister John Bailey disputed the request, telling the court the 39-year-old had no prior criminal history and was a carer for his ailing mother.
The suggestion the images could have been distributed by Brigden was denied by Mr Bailey, who said Brigden was "a bit of a loner" and didn't mix with people.
Mr Bailey said his client had not paid for the material and there was no evidence he had shared or sold the images to other people.
The court heard that since news of Brigden's arrest broke in the small Inglewood community, he had been ostracised by locals.
Judge Julie Ryrie told Brigden that was an understandable reaction in a community of any size.
During sentencing, Judge Ryrie said she had taken into account Brigden's early plea of guilty, good work history and lack of criminal history.
She also considered the effect imprisonment would have on Brigden's elderly mother, who the court heard was dependent on him in her day-to- day life.
Judge Ryrie said despite her decision not to impose a jail sentence, it was important for the causes of his "curiosity" and motivation to attain the material to be assessed.
Although Judge Ryrie told Brigden she accepted he had not paid for the images, she said simply possessing the material was feeding the industry and providing a reason for people to produce it.
Brigden was sentenced to 12 months jail, wholly suspended for two years.
He was also placed on two years probation and ordered to undergo a sex offences course.