A man who was allegedly found with 151 child abuse images has been charged, months after police raided his home.
Thomas Alexander Bell, 32, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Friday and successfully applied for bail.
He has been charged with three counts of knowingly possessing child abuse material.
The court heard police searched Mr Bell's address in Huntly on February 19 this year.
During the search, police seized a computer tower, along with several mobile phones, CDs, DVDs, SD cards, laptops, memory cards, and USBs.
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Three of the items - including the computer tower - were analysed on November 18. It is alleged 151 child abuse images were found on the devices.
Police allege the images showed mostly girls between the ages of two and 16.
Mr Bell was interviewed and charged on Thursday.
He told the court the computer tower was seized in a previous search, and police returned it with material on it.
But the informant, First Constable Mikayla McIntosh, said the previous computer tower was destroyed after police analysed it.
She said the computer seized in the most recent search in February also had a different serial number to the previous computer tower.
Magistrate Patrick Southey said he found it hard to believe police would have returned the computer tower with child abuse material.
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"It sounds highly untrue but police do make mistakes from time to time," he said.
Magistrate Southey also told the court it seemed extraordinary there was a such a long wait between the search on the property and charges being laid.
"It is extremely unfair to execute a warrant in February and then for it to bob back up in December and [then] police say he's an unacceptable risk," the Magistrate said.
Police prosecutor Sally Mannell told the court, nothing could have been done to speed up the process.
"I can't make any further comment on the time frame," she said.
"I appreciate the timing is not in favour of the applicant but it was out of our control."
Magistrate Southey said Mr Bell should be granted bail.
"He's adamant this is not new material but time will tell," the Magistrate said. "The risk [to the community] is probably acceptable."
Mr Bell will return to court in February.
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