Police investigating girl's abuse allegations uncover substantial child porn collection at retired teacher's South Coast home

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A retired primary school teacher living on the NSW South Coast has admitted repeatedly molesting his young granddaughter and taking sexually explicit pictures of her which he later added to a database of horrific child abuse material he had been collecting for more than a decade.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, showed no emotion as Judge Anthony Garling sentenced him to a maximum of 11 years behind bars after detailing the extent of his depravity in a judgement handed down in Nowra District Court on Thursday.

An agreed set of facts revealed the victim was just three years old when her grandfather began taking photos of her exposed genitals and touching her inappropriately while babysitting.

The abuse only came to light two years later when the girl told her mother, saying “[He] takes pictures of my fanny. I can’t stop thinking about it”. She then disclosed the molestation. 

The matter was reported to the Wollongong Child Abuse Squad the following day and within 24 hours detectives had secured a warrant to search the man’s home.

They seized multiple computers and hard drives, including a laptop found on the kitchen bench which had an open tab on the web browser displaying pictures of naked pre-pubescent girls.

The remainder of the electronic devices were examined by officers attached to the State Electronic Evidence Branch.

Detectives estimated the devices combined contained more than half a million files depicting child abuse, including still pictures, animated images and videos, many of which fell into the most serious category of abuse material covering bestiality and sadism. One of hard drives alone contained an estimated 144,000 child abuse files.

“Some of these are animated images involving penetrative sexual acts including torture of young children, as well as animals involved in sexual acts with children,” investigators wrote in the agreed facts.

”The reviewed images, videos and documents were highly disturbing, distressing and offensive and involved many children engaged in horrific sexual acts with adults and other children.”

Meantime, detectives discovered dozens of pictures of the victim, including several “shocking” close-ups of her genitalia that had been taken while she slept.

In another folder, police uncovered a series of “upskirting” photos of students taken by the man while he was working as a teacher interstate.

“It is clear from the quantity of child abuse material, coupled with the dated data relating to the download material, that the offender has produced, downloaded and/or sought child abuse material on a daily basis for the past 10 to 15 years,” police concluded.

Judge Garling was scathing of the man’s behaviour, especially towards his granddaughter, who he said was powerless to stop what was happening to her.

“The pictures are disgusting and degrading and contrary to everything this community can tolerate,” he said.

“In each image a child has suffered and been humiliated; he committed offences against his granddaughter and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

“I’m not satisfied he's shown any remorse and he hasn’t given any reason why he’s committed these offences.”

Judge Garling set a non-parole period of seven years, saying he was limited by the maximum sentences available for each offence. 

With time served, the man will be eligible for consideration for parole in June 2023.