Dive industry identity busted with child porn

A WELL known veteran Cairns dive instructor will spend the next three months behind bars after being found with hundreds of images of the most serious category of child pornography.

Keith Cardwell, 70, who is the director of FNQ Dive with more than 40 years in the industry, had his Brinsmead home raided by police from the Cairns Child Protection and Investigation Unit in October last year.

A Cairns District Court heard he immediately admitted to possessing the images, showing police where they were stored on his computer.

Officers seized a PC and laptop and eventually found 520 images, most of which were category one - depicting young children in sex acts with adults.

Owner of FNQ Dive Keith Cardwell of Cairns has been jailed for possession of child porn. David Anthony photo
Owner of FNQ Dive Keith Cardwell of Cairns has been jailed for possession of child porn. David Anthony photo

 

The court heard officers also found links to several peer-to-peer videos with obvious file names such as PTHC (pre-teen hard core) and Lolita, with some children being as young as seven years old.

Cardwell, who pleaded guilty to two counts of using a carriage service for child exploitation material and one count of possession of child exploitation material, has been stripped of his Blue Card and will no longer be able to work as a dive instructor.

Judge Tracy Fantin said Cardwell had initially shown "no significant insight" into his offending, more worried about his personal reputation than the plight of the children depicted in the images he viewed.

"Every time you access (that type of material) you support a market for the … corruption and exploitation of children," she said.

Judge Fantin said he argued to police viewing the images in the "privacy" of his own home was acceptable.

Despite both the prosecution and defence both submitting he not be required to spend actual time in jail she sentenced him to 15 months with a parole release date after three months, along with a two-year good behaviour bond.

Originally published as Dive industry identity busted with child porn


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