ACT News

Devout Christian Brenton Honeyman gets suspended jail sentence for child porn possession

Brenton Honeyman pleaded guilty to charges of accessing and possessing child pornography.
Brenton Honeyman pleaded guilty to charges of accessing and possessing child pornography. Photo: Twitter

For years, Brenton Noel Honeyman lived a double life.

Publicly, he was a devout Christian and science advocate, first as a high school teacher and then as Questacon manager of Inspiring Australia Strategy and Partnerships.

But privately, he battled a porn addiction that led him to be convicted of child exploitation material offences on Wednesday morning.

The ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday heard that Honeyman's use of porn started in his 20s.

But the 66-year-old's use became an addiction as the internet made pornography more readily accessible.

His interest gradually extended to pornography involving underage boys, which, the court heard, caused him to be conflicted by his own hypocrisy.

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Police raided his home in July 2013 after receiving an Interpol tip about an Australian accessing a known child pornography website.

Officers seized electronic devices, which had contained 1302 images and 25 videos stored on four electronic devices, at the home. Most of them had been downloaded between May 2010 and June 2013.

About 92 per cent of the material was classified as low-level seriousness, but 14 of the files fell into the highest-level of seriousness. Police estimated the material depicted between 300-400 children.

Search terms used by Honeyman were also located by police in his internet history.

But the offender claimed, at a December sentencing hearing, that he had not actively searched for child pornography and merely clicked on the suggested terms offered by the search engine while he surfed adult content.

Justice Hilary Penfold, in handing down the sentence on Wednesday, said she had not been satisfied by the explanation that Honeyman had obtained all the material by accident.

The court heard Honeyman had not shared or shown the material to others, and used it only for his own personal gratification.

Justice Penfold deemed the offences as low-to-mid range.

The court heard Honeyman had been rated as a low-risk of reoffending, but further targeted psychiatric treatment had been recommended. He has also received treatment for sex addiction.

A psychiatrist diagnosed Honeyman with an adjustment disorder, with mixed anxiety and depression.

The court heard the offender had no criminal history and the offences should be considered out-of-character.

Justice Penfold sentenced Honeyman to 18 months jail, to be fully suspended upon entering into a two-year good-behaviour order.

The judge also ordered he pay a $1500 security and perform 200 hours community service work.