Former Bendigo child protection worker pleads guilty to possessing child exploitation material

Former DHHS child protection worker Cameron Dale Allan, 44, had at least 988 child exploitation images on his computer and hard drive.
Former DHHS child protection worker Cameron Dale Allan, 44, had at least 988 child exploitation images on his computer and hard drive.

Earlier coverage:

A FORMER Bendigo child protection worker who downloaded at least 980 child exploitation images has been told he must “reflect” on the victims of child abuse.

Cameron Dale Allan, 44, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to one count of possessing child exploitation material. He will be sentenced in June.

Allan was a senior child protection work at the Department of Health and Human Services in Bendigo when police raided his Jackass Flat residence in February. He fled across three states before his arrest in South Australia.

Magistrate John Murphy said the creation of child exploitation material involved many victims – whether they were in Australia or overseas.

“You were in a position which, by the very nature, involves children,” he said.

“One word I haven’t heard today, it’s the very first thing I’ve written down and highlighted, that is: victims.

“You might say there are no victims here, only images, but whether those young children were abused by you in this filth, whether it be in Russia or whatever country, they are victims.

“That is something that you must reflect on.”

Police analysed 90,000 of the two million images found on Allan’s computer, hard drives and mobile phone.

They found 988 child exploitation images – 790 of which were the lowest category, 110 involved adults and children, and 15 depicted sadism and bestiality, among other categories.

Police will not analyse the remaining images.

Defence counsel Robert Timms said Allan became addicted to pornography after the breakdown of his marriage in 2008, and would download “bulk amounts of pornography” in screen dumps.

Mr Timms said Allan may have been unaware of the presence of child exploitation material.

“Everything would be downloaded. In amongst that was child pornography,” he said.

“The downloading seems to be reflected by the haphazard nature of the files, they were just scattered all over the place.”

Allan has spent 68 days in custody, the majority in isolation, and will likely spend at least another month behind bars before his sentencing, the court heard.

Mr Timms said the amount of time served in custody was “enough”, as Allan would have to rebuild his life from scratch.

“The public humiliation that he goes through, and continued public humiliation he will go through as a result of his conviction today, will be ongoing,” he said.

Magistrate John Murphy ordered a pre-sentence report before Allan is sentenced in the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on June 13.