Ex-firey admits he possessed child porn
A FORMER Northern Territory fire chief who admitted possessing sickening child pornography has faced “gruelling public exposure”, a judge has said.
Retired aviation firefighter Andrew “Joe” Stenhouse, 58, is awaiting sentence on a single charge of possessing child abuse material in the NT Supreme Court.
Justice Peter Barr said: “Public exposure is gruelling – whatever sentence the court imposes would be nothing compared to that, I would imagine.”
Prosecutor David Dalrymple said: “(Media attention) can’t have a huge impact on lessening a sentence simply because of a person’s status.”
Justice Barr said Stenhouse, of Moil, appeared to be in a “dark period in life” when he downloaded eight disturbing videos, involving children aged six to 10 performing sexual acts with other children and adults.
Australian Federal Police had to forensically retrieve the files from his USB.
The videos were ranked in the worst and secondworst categories of child abuse material.
Stenhouse had also downloaded videos of people being killed in explosions. The court heard he used the material to “distract” himself from work stresses and health concerns.
Defence lawyer Jodi Truman said her client had no sexual interest in the videos.
The court had previously heard Stenhouse was also watching videos of people being killed and of explosions.
She said Stenhouse stopped downloading of his own volition about two months before the police raid on July 28, 2016.
Mr Dalrymple said this was because his stress had abated, not because he had “moral insight”.
Justice Barr ordered a suitability for supervision report.
The case was adjourned to next week.