A HERVEY Bay man who secretly filmed explicit images of children as young as six, has escaped jail.
Eric James Musgrove will undergo an Intensive Corrective Order for footage discovered on his phone, which depicted the groin area of up to nine girls.
The Hervey Bay District Court heard that in at least one video, Musgrove could be heard instructing a child to "sit down" and pose in a certain position but it appeared as though all the children were unaware they had been filmed or photographed.
Instead, it was submitted that Musgrove had gone to public places such as the beach and playground to film up the skirts and bikini bottoms of "oblivious" girls aged between six and 14.
When defence barrister Phil Hardcastle submitted his client "couldn't" work for more than eight hours a week because he struggled to be in close proximity to others, Judge Leanne Clare replied "he didn't seem to have any trouble with children".
She said Musgrove had secretly manipulated his camera to film shots of the bottom or crotch by "distracting them with friendly conversation".
While she accepted no child was aware of the filming, she said Musgrove's attempt to befriend them to advance his interest was a "matter of real concern to the community and must be denounced".
Musgrove will have to undergo counselling and programs as directed by Corrective Services and report to the department regularly for 12 months.