Childhood problems - Child abuse
Childhood problems - Child abuse

‘Biggest in Qld’: IT worker jailed over 1.5 million images

An IT worker who was caught with more than one million child abuse images has been jailed over the vile collection described as "one of the biggest in the history of Queensland".

Wynnum computer engineer Daryl Anthony Cook, 56, fronted Brisbane District Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing child exploitation material.

The court heard that Queensland Police uncovered a gross amount of 1.5 million "very disturbing" child abuse images on two computers after searching Cook's Wynnum property on April 21, 2019.

Crown prosecutor Brendan White described the material as some of the "worst" he had seen and said the "sheer volume" of images possessed was the largest he was aware of in Queensland.

 

The files were some of the “worst” the prosecutor had seen.
The files were some of the “worst” the prosecutor had seen.

 

"The possession of child exploitation material in this matter represents one of the biggest in the history of Queensland," Mr White said.

"These are also some of the worst examples I've seen, and that can be seen … real acts of sadism and torture and bondage.

"They're tied up and in pain, those are serious examples of what (child exploitation material) can be."

Mr White told the court that police were only able to analyse a fraction of the content, but an extrapolation of the material indicated a "conservative" figure of more than 500,000 unique images and 1145 unique videos.

These figures were not disputed by Cook or his barrister Chris Minnery.

Mr Minnery said his client knew that downloading the material was illegal, but suggested that Cook did not understand the "real impact" of his offending.

"It is through the course of counselling which he engaged in within about two months of being arrested … that he has learned that this is material which involves real children," Mr Minnery said.

Mr Minnery also cited a number of other mitigating factors including that Cook had a tragic upbringing, that he was genuinely remorseful and was rehabilitating through counselling.

The court heard Cook had told one psychologist that he was repulsed by the material, had no sexual attraction to children and had only collected such a vast amount because he was a hoarder.

But Mr White said this was a "false story" and argued that another psychologist had found Cook was a regressed offender who had turned to internet offending as an outlet for sexual gratification.

Judge Katherine McGinness said she could not accept that Cook found no sexual gratification in the images, but noted that he had never shared any of the content.

"I also conclude there's nothing on any of the material to indicate that you have ever acted inappropriately towards children within the community," Judge McGinness said.

Cook was sentenced to five years' jail, which will be suspended after he has served 14 months behind bars.

Originally published as 'Biggest in Qld': IT worker jailed over 1.5 million images


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