Toowoomba man on child pornography charge fronts court
A TOOWOOMBA man caught up in a national Federal Police operation targeting child pornography has appeared before the city's Magistrates Court.
Benjamin John Rae, 32, was not required to enter any plea to a charge of "using a carriage service to access child abuse material" when he appeared briefly in court yesterday.
His solicitor Jag MacDonald, of MacDonald Law, told the court the matter would have to go up to the higher court and would require a police brief of evidence.
Mr MacDonald said part of his client's bail conditions precluded him from having any contact with children under 16 and asked that the bail be varied so his client could have contact with his children under the supervision of his partner and that he be able to have contact with his nieces and nephews while supervised by his sisters.
His client was living with his parents on the coast as part of his bail conditions, he said.
However, police prosecutor Katherine Steele said police opposed general variations to the bail conditions but if the court was to change the conditions police would prefer the defendant only have contact with his children under the direct supervision of his partner.
Magistrate Robbie Davies said he understood the defendant wanted to see his children but because of the nature of the charge he would have to be supervised "the whole time" and not be left alone with them while his partner went off to do other things.
Ms Steele said the defendant had no criminal history but police investigators claimed there had been steps to avoid detection.
Mr Davies varied the bail to allow Rae contact with his children but only with the permission of his partner and under her supervision, and only away from the family home in Toowoomba, and that he not have any alcohol or drugs in his system during contact.
The case was adjourned to February 28.