A 26-year-old child snatcher made "damning" comments that suggest he might not be able to control his sexual desires even if he is medicated, a magistrate has said.
But lawyers for John Michael Gray say they will argue the comments shouldn't be taken into account at his sentencing.
Gray fronted the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday, having previously pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully taking a child, and one count of possessing a knife in public without a reasonable excuse.
The court heard the charges stemmed from an incident at the Petrie Plaza in Civic in August last year, when Gray grabbed a five-year-old child he did not know in broad daylight.
Gray ran towards a laneway holding the child, and the child's mother and onlookers pursued him.
He eventually let the child go and dropped a black folding knife with an eight-centimetre blade.
Gray was later assessed by staff at the Alexander Maconochie Centre as having schizophrenia and paraphilia, which involves sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, and targets - like children.
Magistrate Beth Campbell on Tuesday said Gray told the author of a court report he had wanted to be in a relationship with his victim, and admitted to being attracted to female children.
But Gray's lawyer Dean Rutherford said he would argue the comments shouldn't be admitted into evidence.
He said Gray made them to the court report author over video rather than in-person because of updated coronavirus procedures, which was inadequate.
Mr Rutherford said Gray should be sentenced in the Magistrates Court given the relative severity of his crimes, but the magistrate ruled the case would best be dealt with in the ACT Supreme Court.
She said Gray's offending "would bring dread to every parent's heart", but acknowledged the August incident was relatively short-lived.
Ms Campbell said the matter strayed into Supreme Court territory because of the complexity of Gray's sentencing.
She said she couldn't be sure whether Gray could be released into the community and control his sexual desires, even if he was medicated.
"The defendant poses a significant risk to the community," the magistrate said.
"This will require a very sophisticated approach to sentencing."
Ms Campbell said Gray's matter would go before the Supreme Court registrar next month before it was set down for sentencing.