Bendigo child protection worker denied bail

Cameron Dale Allan, 44, has faced the Bendigo Magistrates' Court charged with one count of knowingly possessing child exploitation images.

Cameron Dale Allan, 44, has faced the Bendigo Magistrates' Court charged with one count of knowingly possessing child exploitation images.

RELATED: Child protection worker on the run after police child porn raid at his home

A Bendigo child protection worker who fled police after a raid on his home which allegedly uncovered child pornography has been denied bail.

Cameron Dale Allan, 44, faced the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, charged with one count of knowingly possessing child exploitation images, following the February raid.

The court heard Mr Allan was employed as a senior child protection practitioner at the Department of Health and Human Services' Bendigo office at the time of the raid and previously worked in various roles working with children and families.

Detective senior constable Tanya Brooks said investigators viewed and categorised about 90,000 of the approximately two million images found on a laptop, hard disk drives and other digital storage devices seized in the raid and had so far found less than 100 child exploitation images.

Senior Constable Brooks said most of the images were in the least serious category of offending, while one image was in a more serious category, involving sexual penetration between an adult and a child.

She said the other images consisted of adult pornography as well as "everyday" things downloaded from the internet, saying it could take up to 12 months to view and categorise the remaining material.

When police returned to Mr Allan's home on the day of the raid to arrest him, they discovered he had fled the state and he was eventually taken into custody by South Australian police 10 days later.

In opposing bail, prosecutor Alan Walker said there was an "unacceptable risk" Mr Allan would fail to appear at court and may commit further offences while on bail.

In arguing for bail to be granted, defence counsel Russell Kelly said there was no suggestion of complaints from Mr Allan's colleagues or the children he had been working with and the "vast majority" of the seized images appeared to be adult pornography.

Mr Kelly proposed bail conditions, including a $5000 surety to be paid by Mr Allan's father, and restrictions on his access to the internet.

But Senior Constable Brooks said even under such conditions she would still be "very concerned" about whether Mr Allan would be a flight risk or continue to access inappropriate images, saying "when the accused gets stressed he does look up pornography" and may continue to do so.

Mr Kelly said his client understood police were prepared to accept a plea on the basis of the images analysed so far and they may now continue to work their way through the seized material but he was "quite firm" in his decision to reserve his plea.

"He has good grounds for his position and they have to be explored," he said.

In refusing bail, magistrate John Murphy described the magnitude of the images seized as "just enormous".

"In my opinion what's really against him is he took flight and may take off again," he said.

Mr Allan will return to court on April 24.

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