A truck driver accused of "distressing, disturbing and distasteful" child sex offences has been granted bail, after a magistrate found it was not the court's job to help police "boffins" solve resourcing problems.
Brett Hartley-Kennett, 27, had been in custody since his arrest last month on four charges of child grooming and two counts of using a carriage service for child abuse material.
The married Chisholm man, who has not entered pleas, applied for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday.
In documents tendered to the court, police say they began investigating Mr Hartley-Kennett's alleged child grooming in March.
In June, a covert officer posing as a 14-year-old girl began communicating via Snapchat with a person alleged to be Mr Hartley-Kennett.
The documents detail conversations in which the truck driver allegedly told the fake persona, "Amy", that he had previously "hooked up" with a girl her age.
He is accused of repeatedly asking her to send photos of her body and raising the possibility that he could take her virginity, saying: "I will be perfect I promise".
When the officer posing as "Amy" said she did not have protection, Mr Hartley-Kennett allegedly told her: "I can't have kids so you got nothing to worry about getting pregnant or anything."
Mr Hartley-Kennett was arrested at the Arawang netball courts in Stirling on July 24, after allegedly arriving there under the impression he was going to meet "Amy" in person.
Police claim he said in a subsequent interview that he was "an idiot" for talking to "Amy" and that he was "too old" for her.
He allegedly admitted to being the only person with access to his phone and Snapchat account.
Commonwealth prosecutor Sheradyn Simmonds said Mr Hartley-Kennett should be refused bail on several grounds, including that he might interfere with evidence if released.
Ms Simmonds called evidence from investigating officer Senior Constable Lucy Evans, who told the court that police had seized electronic devices from Mr Hartley-Kennett and submitted them for forensic examination.
But Senior Constable Evans said all of the desired evidence was unlikely to be downloaded from the devices until mid- or late September because digital forensics resources were stretched.
Police were concerned, she said, that Mr Hartley-Kennett could log into his Snapchat account from another phone in the meantime to delete anything incriminating.
She said she expected that the devices would yield evidence of other offending, noting that she had already identified alleged grooming victims who had not been willing to provide statements against Mr Hartley-Kennett.
Mr Hartley-Kennett's barrister, Steven Whybrow, proposed a number of "strict" bail conditions including that the man not access any form of social media.
He pointed out that police had already had Mr Hartley-Kennett's pass codes and Snapchat login details for about three weeks, and that Snapchat had agreed to a police request to secure his account.
Mr Whybrow said Mr Hartley-Kennett should not be left in custody until police decided they were ready to download the contents of his devices, noting that the potential for further evidence to be found was "pure speculation" at this point.
Magistrate Beth Campbell said Mr Hartley-Kennett's alleged offending was "distressing, disturbing and distasteful".
She also said she understood the police concerns about Mr Hartley-Kennett potentially interfering with evidence.
But Ms Campbell found the bail conditions proposed by Mr Whybrow to be adequate.
She said she could not keep a man who was otherwise a suitable candidate for bail in custody simply because of police resourcing issues that meant there were likely to be long delays in collecting evidence.
In granting bail, Ms Campbell strongly warned Mr Hartley-Kennett against breaching any of the conditions.
She told him that if he accessed social media, including his Snapchat account, police would know because "they have very clever boffins who are just busy doing other things" at the moment.
Mr Hartley-Kennett is due back in court on September 24.