Huge porn trade lands sol­dier in trou­ble

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JOHN WEEKES

SOL­DIERS trad­ing “large quan­ti­ties” of pornog­ra­phy have landed one of their own in trou­ble, a court has been told.

One spe­cial forces sol­dier was charged af­ter re­ceiv­ing a lode of con­tent that in­cluded im­ages of un­der­age car­toon char­ac­ters in sex acts.

Bris­bane Dis­trict Court was told the con­tent fea­tured “Bart Simp­son” and other char­ac­ters. One fea­tured bes­tial­ity.

Townsville- based sol­dier and Afghanistan vet­eran Michael John McKewin was sus­pended with pay from the army, but a judge en­tered no con­vic­tion against him and said he should prob­a­bly be back in the armed forces.

“It’s a pretty un­usual case,” Judge Paul Smith said. “These sol­diers ex­changed pornog­ra­phy, large quan­ti­ties of it, and this hap­pened to be in that.”

The court heard thou­sands of le­gal im­ages were cir­cu­lated.

Four of­fend­ing im­ages and 14 of­fend­ing movies were found af­ter a po­lice foren­sic anal­y­sis of a com­puter hard drive in about March 2014.

McKewin “was shocked by the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion” of one video as in­volv­ing un­der­age chil­dren in sex­ual acts, his bar­ris­ter D. R. MacKen­zie said.

“He didn’t re­alise they were as bad as they were,” he said. The sol­dier was found to have “no ab­nor­mal in­ter­est” in child ex­ploita­tion con­tent.

McKewin was a spe­cial forces ar­mourer and did not want to leave the army, de­spite his sus­pen­sion and the fact he lost a chance at pro­mo­tion.

Judge Smith en­tered no con­vic­tion but or­dered McKewin to serve 15 months pro­ba­tion.

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