A MYERS Flat man who had more than 12,700 child abuse images and 64 child abuse videos on three mobile phones also posted explicit images of a woman online with her personal details and rape threats, a court has heard.
Aaron James Gaunt, 38, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo County Court on Thursday to 12 charges, including five counts of using a carriage service to transmit child exploitation material.
Gaunt was also operating a small-scale clandestine drug laboratory in Kangaroo Flat to aid in his methamphetamine trafficking, and stole more than $1000 from his own father.
Police started investigating Gaunt in September 2016 after noticing posts of child abuse material on the social media site Tumblr.
They raided his premises and found a mobile phone hidden inside a couch, which contained 28 child abuse images – 12 of which were the worst category.
Further images – totalling 12,786 – were found on other mobile phones belonging to Gaunt, the court heard.
He transmitted child abuse material on social media platforms Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram and kik. Some of the offending occurred while he was on bail for other transmitting child abuse material offences.
Gaunt told police he downloaded the images from Tumblr and described it as a “snowball” of finding increasingly explicit images.
The court also heard Gaunt posted explicit images of a woman on Tumblr. The name of the Tumblr page was “rape” followed by the woman’s name. It was immediately taken down when Tumblr was made aware of the content.
Captions on the pictures contained her address, family members’ names and descriptions of sexually explicit acts and rape.
Gaunt was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and admitted to operating a “shake and bake”-style laboratory in locations including the Oval Motel in Bendigo and properties in Kangaroo Flat and Myers Flat, using cold and flu medication.
He produced between 0.7 and 0.8 grams per batch, and claimed it was for his own consumption.
Text messages on his phone related to the trafficking of methamphetamine.
Gaunt admitted to using up to three grams of the drug per day.
He also stole $520 and $500 from his father via his cheque book.
Gaunt has spent 189 days in custody.
Defence counsel Robert Timms said Gaunt sustained life-threatening injuries in a car crash in 2015, but it was unclear whether he had an acquired brain injury.
He said Gaunt understood he would be spending some time in jail.
“I am urging the court to seriously consider a parole period where it leaves it open to him to not only be supervised in the community but to ensure all programs are completed,” Mr Timms said.
“There are victims in this, and my client acknowledges that.
“It appears that when people become addicted to ice, their morals simply disappear.”
Prosecutor Melissa Mahady said the child abuse material offences were a “serious example of this type of offending”.
“It was over a decent period of time, between September 16 and August 17... circumstances where he’d already been charged and bailed for it,” she said.
Gaunt will be sentenced next Friday.