A 34-YEAR-OLD Bundaberg man who downloaded more than 3500 child pornography images has avoided jail after being handed a suspended sentence.
Craig Ashley Dimes pleaded guilty to one count of using a carriage service for child pornography material and one count of knowingly possessing child exploitation material in the Bundaberg District Court on Thursday before being sentenced on Friday.
Judge Gary Long sentenced Dimes to 18 months imprisonment for each charge but suspended the sentences immediately and placed Dimes on a $5000 good behaviour security bond and probation for three years.
In sentencing Dimes, Judge Long said the sentence was an opportunity for the defendant to seek help in relation to his mental health issues and urged Dimes not to "put his head in the sand" when it came to addressing his depression.
Judge Long took into account that although the images had taken numerous days to download during which time Dimes had not stopped the downloading, he had only download one zip folder, containing all 3781 images and seven video.
But he said the sentence was appropriate to act as a deterrent.
He also recognised that Dimes had no criminal record and the incident had taken place during Dime's "descent into a state of some social isolation".
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