Berkeley child porn trader avoids jail

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File image.

A Berkeley man has avoided time behind bars on child pornography charges but will have to comply with strict conditions preventing him from having contact with children under the age of 16.

Shannon Tuckerman used the email address "fiddiekiddler@hotmail.com" to trade dozens of images and videos of child pornography with at least 16 different internet users in late 2012.

A sitting of the District Court in Sutherland heard Tuckerman, 21, was found with 189 images and 38 videos when police raided his home and seized his computer last March.

Judge Paul Conlon on Thursday placed Tuckerman on a two-year intensive correction order in lieu of full-time jail, accepting that his degenerative eye condition - which caused Tuckerman to have very limited vision in both eyes - would mean he would be vulnerable behind bars.

As part of the order, Tuckerman will be strictly supervised by a caseworker, including having surprise home visits and drug and urine testing. He must complete 32 hours a month of community service, live in an approved residence, not leave the state, and comply with any treatment programs or activities deemed appropriate by his supervisor.

Judge Conlon also imposed additional conditions on Tuckerman's liberty relating specifically to the nature of his crimes.

They include: not having contact with any child under 16 without approval/supervision from his caseworker; no loitering in parks or reserves frequented by children; and no telecommunications contact with children under 16.

The order will come into effect on September 5, after Judge Conlon agreed to a delay so Tuckerman could attend a family funeral with his mother in Queensland.

Legal reasons prevent the publication of events that Tuckerman said led him to first look online for child pornography, however, the Mercury can reveal Tuckerman went about setting up an online profile with the belief that he was "posing as a paedophile".

He told a treating psychologist that he was not sexually interested in children - an assertion Judge Conlon rejected given the scope of his interaction with other users.

The court heard on each occasion Tuckerman, going under the screen name "Greg Norman", sent an email to the person indicating he was interested in trading child pornography and awaited a reply.

In the emails he advertised that he had "heaps of vids [videos] and pics [pictures]" he was willing to trade in exchange for other child abuse material, and described himself as a "loyal trader".

Tuckerman told users he liked to see "toddler boys", videos of young children urinating and touching themselves and videos that depicted children in pain, "the younger the better".

This was at odds with the reasons Tuckerman gave to doctors for his initial foray into child porn.

"I'm unable to accept the truthfulness of these assertions," Judge Conlon said in relation to Tuckerman's suggestion he had not been sexually aroused by the downloaded material.

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