A Coniston man has admitted to accessing more than 1200 images of disturbing child abuse material on several devices following his arrest on Australia Day this year.
Michael Christopher Dale, 53, pleaded guilty to five counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material when he appeared in Wollongong Local Court yesterday.
Police arrested Dale on January 26 at Wollongong Harbour after members of the public allegedly saw him taking photos of children swimming.
He allowed police to search his Coniston home where officers seized three laptops and a mobile phone before he was taken to Wollongong Police Station and charged.
Dale was released from custody when he appeared in court on January 27 and remains on strict bail.
During the police investigation, officers extracted and reviewed the devices where they confirmed Dale accessed and possessed child abuse material on all of them, agreed facts tendered to court said.
Police found images that dated back to 2013 and Dale continued to look at them until a few days before he was arrested.
The images depicted real, prepubescent female and male children, aged between 5 and 16, engaged in sexual activity, often with adults, as well as hundreds of pictures showing children's genitalia.
The images were accessed from the internet and stored on his devices.
On a silver laptop, investigators confirmed Dale obtained 197 child abuse images between December 27 last year and January 23.
He used a black laptop to retrieved 225 photos between March 2013 and May 2020.
On a third laptop Dale accessed 354 pictures between April 2017 and October 2019.
Dale used his Samsung Galaxy mobile phone between September 2018 and November 2020 to obtain 92 child abuse images.
He used his phone to take photos of 55 child abuse images that were stored on another electronic device during the same period.
The photos were saved into his camera folder which showed the date and time of the capture.
Dale was between 44 and 52 years old when he accessed the images on the various devices, the documents said.
He will next appear in Wollongong District Court on November 12 where he will be given a sentence date.