A MAIDEN Gully man has been jailed for four months after he was found with close to 300 child abuse images and videos.
Johnathon Roskam, 36, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Thursday after he last week pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing child abuse material.
Magistrate Russell Kelly said a substantial jail term was warranted for the "very serious" offending.
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The court heard Roskam's former partner told authorities about the child abuse material on December 29 last year.
Police attended Roskam's Maiden Gully property on January 1 this year and seized 29 items, including a Samsung mobile phone and a hard drive.
On the devices, police found 295 child abuse images and videos.
The material depicted children between the ages of two and 16 years old.
The majority of the material showed girls between the ages of eight and 14 being sexually abused by other children and adults.
Roskam went to the Bendigo Police Station on January 8, where he was arrested and interviewed.
The 36-year-old told police he accessed the child abuse material about 10 years prior.
Roskam said he didn't get aroused by the images and that he only accessed the material because he wanted to "track down and harm" the perpetrators of the abuse.
Roskam told police he last accessed the material in 2015.
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Defence lawyer Luke Docherty told the court Roskam should not be jailed for the offending as he was not the appropriate person to send a message of deterrence to the community.
Mr Docherty noted Roskam's mental health history and the determination from Corrections Victoria that he was at a low risk of reoffending.
The defence lawyer said Roskam had already been punished through last week's media coverage and the separation from his long-term partner and child.
Mr Docherty said a lengthy community corrections order with unpaid community work would be an appropriate sentence.
But Magistrate Russell Kelly said the Court of Appeal had made it clear that child abuse offending should be dealt with a term of imprisonment, even if there were mitigating factors.
Mr Kelly said he accepted that Roskam had pleaded guilty at an early stage and had no prior convictions.
But the magistrate said prison was warranted given the "objectively serious" offending.
Roskam was convicted and jailed for four months. He was also ordered to complete a two-year community corrections order upon his release.
The order will focus on mental health treatment and offence-specific programs.
Roskam will be on the sex offenders register for eight years.
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