Former Port Kennedy teacher sent to prison for hundreds of child exploitation images

Rockingham Magistrates Court
Rockingham Magistrates Court

A FORMER school teacher has been jailed after he was caught with hundreds of images of child porn.

Port Kennedy man Frank Viola pleaded guilty at Rockingham Magistrates Court in October last year to possession of child exploitation images.

The images were found after police searched his home and found hundreds of images and multiple videos on a computer and a thumb drive.

These imaged depicted young girls naked, or in sexually explicit poses, or performing sexual acts with other young girls or adult males.

The 60-year-old was previously a teacher for 28 years until he resigned in 2010.

During an interview with police, Viola told them his sexual preference was for young, pre-pubescent girls aged 10 – 12 and that he had been downloading those type of images since 2005.

Judge Amanda Burrows noted that meant he was committing the offences during his time as a teacher.

Defence lawyer Rod Keely said his client conceded the offence could carry imprisonment but that it could be a suspended term.

He said Viola had shown ‘positive signs’ of remorse and rehabilitation.

“He has cancelled the internet on his computer but keeps it on his phone for email and paying bills,” Mr Keely said.

“He has expressed shame and guilt and knows it was wrong.”

Police Prosecutor Peter Phillips said Viola initially lied to the police when he said he “didn’t go anywhere near that sort of stuff”.

“He held out until he realised it was hopeless; when police were aware the material was there,” Mr Phillips said.

He said what was detected was images of oral sex and adults ejaculating on children.

“It’s not a one-off aberration in the context of ongoing consumption of child exploitation material,” he said.

“The state says the only appropriate disposition is immediate imprisonment.”

Judge Burrows said the images looked professionally staged.

She noted there were 336 images of naked young females in sexually explicit poses.

She doubted that his sexual interest in young girls had reduced.

“He admitted sexual interest in pre-pubescent girls aged 10 -12,” she said.

“I find the offending was considerable and ongoing; it wasn’t just a single download.

“People like you downloading these images create a market.”

She sentenced him to an immediate prison term of 15 months and made him eligible for parole when half that term is served.

A destruction order was made for the images and the devices.