A remorseless child abuse material trader has collapsed onto a courtroom floor in a flood of tears after being jailed, complaining that he "won't last two days" behind bars.
Ernest Henry Yardley, 35, was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court on Monday to imprisonment for two years and five months.
The unemployed Gilmore man will spend the first 15 months in the Alexander Maconochie Centre before being released from custody under supervision.
Yardley pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance to five charges related to the possession of child exploitation material and the transmission and solicitation of child pornography, which is now called child abuse material.
A statement of agreed facts shows that the Australian Federal Police first learnt of his illegal activities through a tip from the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in January 2019.
Investigators raided his home the following month and seized five devices, which contained a total of 1434 objectionable files.
An analysis of the electronics revealed that Yardley had transmitted and made available child abuse material to 13 different recipients using WhatsApp, Telegram and Dropbox, while also receiving such material himself.
He attempted to justify his behaviour in messages discovered by police, telling one of his internet friends they were not "bad people" and they were "just horny".
In sentencing on Monday, Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson said Yardley had also lied to a forensic psychiatrist by at one stage claiming he had been "picked on and set up" by people who had hacked his phone.
She said lawyers on both sides of the case agreed that Yardley had failed to demonstrate any remorse.
Yardley's lawyer Chris Brown said this should be viewed in the context of the offender having mental disorders, but Justice Loukas-Karlsson said the psychiatrist's report made clear that Yardley had chosen to offend in the knowledge his conduct was wrong.
The judge made extensive comments about the seriousness of child abuse material offences, describing its trade as an "increasingly destructive ... global problem".
She said children were "exploited on a massive scale" when such material was repeatedly distributed by people like Yardley.
Justice Loukas-Karlsson stressed that denunciation and general deterrence were especially important principles in these cases to stop others from going to a "depraved black hole of the internet".
"This is not a victimless crime," she said.
"Children are sexually abused in order to supply the market for this depraved material."
After pronouncing Yardley's sentence, the judge spoke directly to the 35-year-old man.
"The offences you have committed are very serious offences, and for that you must go to jail," Justice Loukas-Karlsson said.
Yardley immediately replied: "I won't last two days."
When he continued to protest, Justice Loukas-Karlsson left the courtroom and Yardley fell to the floor in tears.
He refused to accept his fate and had to be lifted off the ground by ACT Corrective Services staff as he pleaded to go home with his father.
Yardley will be freed from jail in April 2022 on a recognisance release order, with conditions including that he complete a sex offender program if found suitable to do so.