GUILTY PLEA: The 32-year-old man admitted to possessing 364 child exploitation images.
GUILTY PLEA: The 32-year-old man admitted to possessing 364 child exploitation images.

Childcare worker had child exploitation material

A 32-YEAR-OLD man who worked in childcare at the Gladstone PCYC is still able to apply for a Blue Card after pleading guilty to possessing child exploitation material.

Matthew Brian Henry Maddick worked at the Gladstone PCYC's School-Aged Care centre for three years up until last year when he was fired following his arrest.

He pleaded guilty on July 24 at the District Court of Queensland in Gladstone.

The court was told police executed a search warrant at Mr Maddick's home on March 7 last year and found 364 illegal images depicting children on his computer.

Of those images, 363 were animated and came from what the court was told were adults-only "dating simulation"-type games, which he admitted to police he had played for sexual gratification.

A single image was of a real child but was in the lowest category of seriousness of child exploitation material.

Defence barrister Maree Willey said Mr Maddick was unaware at the time he had downloaded the games that people would use them to represent themselves as children.

She said her client was "certainly remorseful" for his conduct and had already suffered in his personal life as a result.


Gladstone Court House. Courthouse.
Gladstone Court House. Matt Taylor

She asked Judge David Kent to impose a fine on her client and not to record a conviction, on the basis doing so would prevent her client from reapplying for a Blue Card and returning to childcare work.

"When one has a look at the particular facts surrounding this... unusual case, that door may not necessarily be closed permanently to him," she said.

Crown prosecutor Natalie Lima did not contest this submission, given the nature of the images and the fact Mr Maddick had no criminal history.

Judge Kent accepted it was an "unusual case" and noted no actual children had been harmed in the production of the animated images.

But he said that as a mature adult, Mr Maddick "should have been aware how inappropriate this behaviour was".

He placed Mr Maddick on a two-year probation order with strict conditions, including complying with orders to receive counselling if directed to by a corrective services officer.

Noting that a lack of a conviction "by no means guarantees (the defendant) will get a Blue Card back", Judge Kent chose not to record a conviction.

"That's a matter for those authorities," he said.