Police charged a special forces armourer after troops exchanged thousands of mostly lawful porn images.
Police charged a special forces armourer after troops exchanged thousands of mostly lawful porn images. Tony Martin

Prolific army porn exchange got Special Ops vet suspended

SOLDIERS trading "large quantities” of porn landed one of their own in trouble, a court has heard.

One special forces soldier was charged after receiving a lode of content which included images of underage cartoon characters in sex acts.

Brisbane District Court heard the content featured Bart Simpson and related characters.

One item featured bestiality involving a dog.

Townsville-based soldier and Afghanistan veteran Michael John McKewin was suspended on pay from the army, but a judge entered no conviction against him, and said he should probably be back in the armed forces.

"It's a pretty unusual case,” Judge Paul Smith said on Monday.

"Because as I understand the facts ... these soldiers exchanged pornography, large quantities of it, and this happened to be in that exchange.”

The court heard thousands of legal images were circulated.

Four offending images and 14 offending movies were found after a police forensic analysis of a computer hard drive in about March 2014.

"An analysis revealed characters from cartoons performing sexual acts,” Judge Smith said at sentencing.

There had been a delay in prosecution, and Mr McKewin had not been in any trouble since 2014, Judge Smith said.

"Your motive was not to possess the images for commercial profit or distribution,” he added.

The court heard some people might interpret the images as humorous but they were in fact child exploitation material.

"These are not victimless offences,” Judge Smith said.

Mr McKewin "was shocked by the identification” of one video as involving underage children in sexual acts, his barrister D R MacKenzie said.

"He didn't realise they were as bad as they were.”

The soldier was found to have "no abnormal interest” in child exploitation content.

The Crown wanted a period of 12-18 months supervision for Mr McKewin.

Prosecutors said disturbing images were among those found, but the number of offending images was relatively small.

The court heard McKewin was a special forces armourer and did not want to leave the army, despite his suspension and the fact he lost a chance at promotion.

Judge Smith entered no conviction but ordered McKewin serve 15 months probation.

-NewsRegional



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