Judge: images of children on laptop ‘deeply inhumane’

A MACKAY man is facing potential deportation after being caught with more than 3770 child exploitation images.

Martin Hornof, 37, pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay yesterday to one charge of using a carriage service to access child pornography material and one charge of possessing child exploitation material.

Commonwealth prosecutor Aimee Knott told the court that on May 30, 2012, police executed a search warrant at Hornof's Mackay address and found a laptop computer and an external hard drive with child exploitation material.

Ms Knott said Hornof had originally told police he couldn't remember the password to the computer and had denied accessing child pornography.

She said he later divulged the password and admitted he owned the laptop and hard drive.

Hornof told police he'd accessed the child pornography for "curiosity".

Ms Knott said the computer and hard drive contained thousands of images, including 23 graphic pictures and videos.

"Countless children have been victimised," she said.

Defence barrister Paddy Cullinane said his client had been born in the former Czechoslovakia and later moved to Germany.

Mr Cullinane said Hornof gained permanent Australian residency in 2009 and worked in the mines before being laid off after his employer found out about his charges.

He said a psychologist's report stated that Hornof was "unlikely to reoffend".

Before handing down his sentence, District Court judge John Baulch told Hornof:

"There is indeed something deeply inhumane about treating another human as a mere object."

"These children are real people, not just images on a screen," he said.

Mr Baulch labelled the offences "abhorrent" and "disgraceful".

"Hundreds of the images were in category four or five," he said.

"It continued for more than 12 months.

"It's a sad thing to send a man like yourself to prison."

Mr Baulch sentenced Hornof to 15 months in prison for the first charge, with four months to be served in custody and the remainder to be served as a $1000 good behaviour reconnaissance with an operational period of three years.

For the second charge, Mr Baulch sentenced Hornof to 12 months in prison, to be suspended after four months for an operational period of three years.