A MELBOURNE disc jockey who downloaded 227,411 pornographic images of children, some as young as five, has been jailed after being caught up in an Interpol investigation.
The County Court heard that Andrew Van Rossum, 34, became "addicted to child pornography to escape reality'' and had formed a belief that real people were not involved.
Judge Caroline Douglas ordered that he serve 20 months in jail immediately and then be released on a good behaviour order for 16 months.
In passing sentence she said the massive collection of pornography "condoned the exploitation of children by adults, which is unacceptable in a civilised society''.
"I have no explanation why you were sexually aroused by the images of children, some as young as five,'' she said.
The court was told that Van Rossum, a father of two, had become depressed after the failure of business enterprises, had started drinking heavily and became addicted to child pornography. He came to the attention of the Australian Federal Police Online Child Exploitation Team in August 2007 when Interpol in Austria revealed that he was one of 78 Australians identified as downloading child pornography. More than 6000 were identified worldwide.
Australian investigations revealed that in October 2007, while in a chatroom and talking to "pedo11111'' he had sent 137 pornographic images of children and received 133 through a sharing program. He later sent 317 images to the same man and received 57.
Police discovered a list of exchanges with others, numbering in the thousands.
The Jehovah's Witness, who pleaded guilty to the child pornography charges sat stern-faced as Judge Douglas went through his crimes. Police investigators raided his Clayton South home in December 2007 discovering a stash of child pornography, which he had collected over three years.
Judge Douglas said he would have continued offending if not for the intervention of the federal police.