ACT News

Accused again denied bail after pleading not guilty to child pornography charges

A man has pleaded not guilty to child pornography offences after police allegedly found 100,000 images on computers seized from his home.

David William Walshe, 63, was charged with possessing and accessing child pornography and has been behind bars since September.​

His defence lawyer on Wednesday made a third bid for his release in the ACT Magistrates Court, arguing the amount of time Mr Walshe had spent in custody since his arrest was grounds for his bail to be reviewed. 

He told Magistrate Maria Doogan​ it had been nearly four months since his client was arrested and three months since he last applied for bail, which he said was "not an insignificant" amount of time.​

Mr Walshe had a second bail application knocked back in October, when a court heard he had an obsessive sexual attraction to children and had accessed child pornography regularly since 2004.

The court heard at the time some of the roughly 100,000 files found on computers and devices federal police seized from his home fell into the most heinous category of child pornography. 

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Mr Walshe's defence lawyer on Wednesday said the two charges related to 18 images and eight videos allegedly accessed between June and September 2015, although police facts alluded to many files that had been accessed over a period of years.

Mr Walshe had not previously entered pleas.

His lawyer said that was because Mr Walshe could find himself in "a difficult position" if he entered pleas, only to face more charges once all the material had been analysed. 

A Commonwealth prosecutor said a brief was being prepared, but police needed to assess a "significant" amount of material.

A police informant had already assessed and categorised tens of thousands of images and some written material that had been seized, she said.

The prosecutor said the case was "somewhat unusual" given Mr Walshe had not entered pleas and argued the amount of time that had lapsed since his arrest should not be a consideration in his bail application.

Magistrate Maria Doogan​ did not accept the delay was grounds to review Mr Walshe's bail and said his matter could be sped up if he entered pleas so the case could be progressed to the Supreme Court. 

She said Mr Walshe had "no bargaining power here" and prosecutors were entitled to lay as many charges as they considered appropriate. 

Mr Walshe entered pleas of not guilty to both charges. He was refused bail. 

The matter will return to court next month for committal. 

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