Man caught copying child porn by staff

A KANGAROO Flat man photocopied child pornography at Officeworks before being caught by a staff member, a court has heard.

Steven Siddle, 56, faced charges of producing and possessing child porn in the Bendigo Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The court heard an Officeworks staff member contacted police after seeing Siddle copy an image of minors aged five to 16 in underwear in indecent poses.

Police seized two computers from his Kangaroo Flat home.

An analysis found 10 images on a Dell laptop and one image on an Acer computer.

Three images depicted girls and boys aged between about 10 and 16 engaged in sexual activity, including images of minors having sex with adults. 

The court heard Siddle admitted to all but three images, which he said had been on a computer he bought at a swap meet in 2009.

Siddle could not gain access to the files to delete them, it was argued, but records show the files were accessed in 2012 and 2013. 

Magistrate Jennifer Tregent asked if Siddle denied possessing the worst images.  

“Well who else came into his house and accessed (them)?” she asked.

“These are the worst ones ... how convenient.”

Siddle, who has been unemployed for about 15 years, volunteers 15 hours a week at the Salvation Army.

He has never been married, does not have children, and is currently on benefits, the court heard.

The court heard the incident had “put a scare into him”, and it was noted he did not appear to have any mental health issues.

The court heard Siddle had been "curious" when accessing the images, which  Magistrate Jennifer Tregent took issue with. 

She said the argument put forward in court that those accessing child pornography were curious was too prevalent and noted the “brutality” required for the images to be produced.

"It is well-known throughout the community that it is an offence to have child pornography," Ms Tregent said. 

She said while the offending appeared somewhat isolated, and noted police had not found thousands of images, the charges were still serious.

Siddle faced one count of producing child porn on February 8, 2013, and one charge of possessing indecent images of someone who appeared to be under 18 between May 25, 2009, and February 7, 2013.

A further three charges he had been facing were struck out. 

The court heard Siddle had lived in Melbourne and had moved to Bendigo in 2008. 

He had worked in a supermarket but struggled to find employment after being injured in a car crash when he was aged in his 30s or 40s. 

He was placed on the sex offenders registry for 15 years and must undertake a Community Corrections Order for 18 months. 

A Salvation Army spokesman said the organisation had "zero tolerance" for such offences.

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