A man who collected 200,000 child abuse images will be released from prison in December, after a prosecution appeal to increase his sentence was thrown out.
Sebastopol father Rowan James Parkyn, 34, was sentenced to five months' imprisonment followed by a two-year community corrections order at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court in July.
The Office of Public Prosecutions brought an appeal against the sentence in August and submitted Parkyn should receive more jail time.
Judge Wendy Wilmoth dismissed the appeal in the County Court of Victoria on Friday, upholding the original five-month prison sentence.
Judge Wilmoth said while the sheer number of images and the depravity placed the case in the high range of offending, there was no evidence of commercial intent and the images were protected from access by others.
His personal suffering as a result of the criminal act is a compelling reason to impose a shorter prison sentenceJudge Wendy Wilmoth
Parkyn, who has no prior criminal convictions, was living with his wife and three children during the eight-month period he collected the child abuse material in 2019.
He was also working in aged care and studying nursing at the time.
The court heard Parkyn had separated from his wife and had not been able to see his children since he was charged in August 2019.
Judge Wilmoth said Parkyn had put himself in 'very sad circumstances' as he was now facing life without his family and he would be unlikely to be able to continue in his chosen career.
She said she took this into account as mitigating factors, in addition to his early plea of guilty and his cooperation with the police.
"His personal suffering as a result of the criminal act is a compelling reason to impose a shorter prison sentence," she said.
Judge Wilmoth said she also took into account the evidence of clinical psychologist Dr Alison Maynard who said Parkyn had long standing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, social anxiety and a reduced ability to empathise with others.
Dr Maynard suggested this related to the experience of violence by his father throughout his childhood and sexual abuse by someone known to the family when he was 10-years-old.
Dr Maynard assessed Parkyn's risk of reoffending as moderate and risk of general sex offending as very low.
She said Parkyn had obsessive behaviour traits in collecting items and had done this with other items in the past such as DVDs and books.
Judge Wilmoth said she took into account the link between Parkyn's mental impairment and his offending and Dr Maynard's evidence that his prospects of rehabilitation were good if he undertook the right treatment.
She said she gave 'considerable weight' to the impact of imprisonment on his mental health and took into account the burden of COVID-19 on prisoners.
The court heard the children in the images Parkyn collected were aged between three to 16-years-old.
Police found the child abuse images on three devices, two of Parkyn's mobile phones and his laptop.
This was after Parkyn's wife discovered some of the child pornography on his phone and told a friend who reported it to police.
Parkyn said he downloaded the images from a website online which he had found 'accidentally' eight months earlier, during an interview with police in August 2019.
He told police he found he was sexually aroused and stimulated by the images after discovering the site
Parkyn will be subject to the sex offenders registration's requirements for eight years.
He will be required to engage in sex offenders programs and supervision during the period of his community corrections order.
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