FILE

Family man, former cop downloaded 142 disgusting images

A FORMER police officer has received a prison sentence, suspended immediately, for possession of child pornography.

Jeffrey John Lavery, 46, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday to the charge.

Lavery's defence barrister Scott Moon said his client served in the Victorian police force for 15.5 years, four years in the Sunbury "suicide belt" on the outskirts of Melbourne, along with four years as a police prosecutor.

Before his time on the police force, Lavery spent three years as a primary school teacher in Australia before moving overseas where he taught for a further three years.

Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence said Taskforce Argos officers were tipped off that someone in the Lavery residence in Yeppoon had downloaded child exploitation material and a search warrant was executed on August 18, 2015.

She said Lavery denied there had been any child exploitation material in the house he shared with his wife and son before the search.

Police found one desktop computer, one laptop computer and an external hard drive containing 142 child exploitation images.

The images included 38 depicting nudity or erotic posing with no sexual activity and 88 depicted sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child.

Ms Lawrence told the court a further 15 images depicted penetrative sexual activity between adult(s) and child(ren).

She said police found an online account linked to a Dropbox account and others that contained the images.

Lavery participated in an interview with police two days later and admitted he was the primary user of the three devices but claimed he didn't where the images came from.

Mr Moon said Lavery now admits, having been the primary user of the devices, that he committed the offences.

He referred to a psychiatric report, based on an interview with Lavery a few months after the raid.

In the report he was diagnosed with chronic depressive disorder with dissociation, chronic pain and restless leg syndrome.

Mr Moon said his client was not using his diagnosis as an excuse for the offending, but the dissociation explained the lapses and poor memory he had around it.

He said these diagnoses come after a workplace injury where Lavery's spine was fused and he spent 36 weeks off work recovering.

The injury left him unable to perform his normal duties as a general police officer.

Lavery went on to become a police prosecutor for four years before being medically retired from Victoria Police.

"During his career he was exposed to a lot of traumatic events," Mr Moon told the court.

He said part of that stress was working for four years at Sunbury which was "part of the Melbourne suicide belt".

After being medically retired, Lavery moved to Rockhampton with his family and has since relocated to the Gold Coast to be closer to his wife's terminally ill father.

Judge Michael Burnett sentenced Lavery to a 12-month prison term, suspended immediately, with a three-year-operational period.

Lavery will also be subjected to reporting obligations for a minimum of five years under the Child Protection Offender Act.


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