Man accused of distributing child pornography out on bail
A Gladstone man accused of distributing child exploitation material has been allowed out on bail by the Gladstone Watchhouse.
Scott Thomas Sweeney, 33, faces charges of possessing child exploitation material and distributing child exploitation material.
He was allowed out on bail on November 25 with a number of conditions.
Mr Sweeney applied to have conditions of his bail varied in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Represented by defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield, Mr Sweeney had applied to be allowed to have unsupervised contact with his own children and access to emails.
Ms Ditchfield said the condition had put a strain on his partner who has to take their children with her every time she leaves the house as Mr Sweeney is not allowed to be alone with them.
Ms Ditchfield said there was no allegations that any of the images were of his own children.
In regards to email access she asked the court to consider emails were not a common way of sending or receiving child exploitation material.
She said this was more often done through file sharing websites.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Merrilyn Hoskins opposed the variation.
She said it was "very fortunate" he was granted bail at all and had been allowed to remain with his family.
Sgt Hoskins said Mr Sweeney had told police he had the alleged material by "accident" or it was "easy to get".
She opposed him being allowed to access emails if it was "so easy for him" before.
She asked the court to consider the maximum penalty for possessing child exploitation material is 14 years and for distributing, 15 years.
Magistrate Bevan Manthey echoed the prosecution and said it was "fortunate" for him to be on bail.
"In the interest of justice I don't believe those conditions should be varied," Mr Manthey said.
He refused the application.
Mr Sweeney's matters will be back before the court on April 9.
Due to the nature of the charges they will have to proceed to a higher court.