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CHILD PORN: Computer repairers reveal retiree's sickening stash

Murray Tilbrook, 68, of Maryborough, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court to possession of child exploitation material.
Murray Tilbrook, 68, of Maryborough, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court to possession of child exploitation material. Annie Perets

THEY were looking for a suspected virus but when computer repair staff searched Murray Tilbrook's laptop, they found something far more sinister.

The 68-year-old was storing an explicit image library of underage girls.

Police were contacted immediately and a further search of Tilbrook's Maryborough home uncovered 2833 more damning photos and two videos depicting girls aged between 8-15.

Three USBs and 20 CDs were scanned by detectives.

Tilbrook pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court on Wednesday to possessing child exploitation material.

The court heard Tilbrook had "lifelong interest" with pre-pubescent girls.

Crown Prosecutor Natalie Lima described the volume of images as "not insignificant" and said of most concern was a file which "depicts a male having sex with an 11-13 year old."

She said some photos also featured cartoon animals.

"After he put his computer in for repair, images of young, naked girls were seen," Ms Lima said.

"He made admission to downloading images of young females."

Defence barrister Don MacKenzie said Tilbrook sought counselling after the arrest in 2016.

"He has been identifying and recognising what the problem is," Mr MacKenzie said.

"He has avoided a situation where he has actually been tempted to become involved with small children."

Tilbrook's wife, who he has been married to for about 40 years, supported him during the court appearance.

Judge Michael Shanahan recognised Tilbrook's offences did not involve physical contact with young girls, but emphasised that collecting child pornography was "serious."

"He is attracted to the beauty of adolescent girls," Judge Shanahan said.

"He needs to recognise that that's unacceptable, and is a criminal offence."

Judge Shanahan said Tilbrook's efforts at rehabilitation had spared him from going to jail.

Instead, Tilbrook was given a suspended sentence of 12 months.

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