Former Brisbane teacher avoids jail for possession of more than 4,000 child pornography images.

brisbane teacher child porn

A former primary school teacher has been handed a suspended jail term for possessing and accessing child pornography.

Maximilian Ernst Hodgess, 45, was found to have been in possession of more than 4,000 images during a police raid on his home, north of Brisbane, in June 2015.

He initially denied having any images but officers ran a software check on his computer and Hodgess subsequently handed over a USB drive containing the files.

Hodgess was later charged with possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to access child pornography.

Before he was sentenced in Brisbane’s District Court today, Hodgess’ defence lawyer Dan Rogers argued for a non-custodial punishment, saying his client had cooperated throughout the investigation and imprisonment would hamper his rehabilitation.

But prosecutor Susan Hedge said there was a risk Hodgess could reoffend and jail time would act as a deterrent.

Judge Terry Martin acknowledged Hodgess was genuinely remorseful and had undertaken steps to rehabilitate himself, including seeing a psychologist.

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“You have lost your career as a teacher, your reputation is ruined, and you will be publicly shamed,” Judge Martin said.

“You have done, and are doing, all that you can to rehabilitate yourself.

“You have genuine prospects of succeeding in rehabilitation even though it will be a long road.”

Judge Martin sentenced Hodgess to 18 months in prison for the carriage offence and 12 months for the possession – but both were wholly suspended and he walked free from court.

He was placed on a four-year good behaviour bond and ordered to continue his psychological treatment.

The court heard there was no suggestion Hodgess was creating or distributing the material.

Hodgess is no longer employed as a teacher and is studying accountancy.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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