A disgusted judge has agreed that a computer programmer's child abuse material stash was "truly abhorrent" after viewing some of the disgraceful files.
Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson's comments on Wednesday came as Geoffrey Robert Appleby's barrister conceded a term of immediate imprisonment was the only appropriate punishment.
Appleby, 45, has been behind bars on remand since police raided his Higgins home in August 2020 as part of Operation Molto, a nationwide investigation into child abuse.
He is due to be sentenced later this month after pleading guilty to 18 child abuse material and invasion of privacy charges stemming from the search.
Court documents show Appleby downloaded 2880 videos and 651 pictures, later classified as child abuse material, from the internet in October 2019.
Investigators found those and a further 650 similar files on his laptop and mobile phone, which also contained hidden camera footage and photographs of women using two bathrooms.
During Appleby's sentence proceedings on Wednesday, prosecutor Imogen Thomas told the ACT Supreme Court: "It is not an overstatement to say the [child abuse] material in this matter is truly abhorrent."
Justice Loukas-Karlsson nodded and replied: "It is truly abhorrent."
The judge had earlier in the proceedings looked through a selection of the material in order to assess its depravity, before ordering that the samples be "locked up where they belong".
Ms Thomas also told the court it was important not to lose sight of the seriousness of the invasion of privacy offences, saying there had been numerous victims violated by the bathroom filming.
She said Justice Loukas-Karlsson should remain "guarded" about Appleby's prospects for rehabilitation, saying the man had made "inconsistent" comments about his level of understanding and remorse.
"A term of immediate and actual custody is necessary and is the only appropriate sentence in this case," Ms Thomas said.
Appleby's barrister Alyn Doig conceded that time behind bars was warranted, saying it would be "a fool's errand" to try playing down the seriousness of the 45-year-old's crimes.
But Mr Doig said his client had already spent more than seven months in custody on remand, using the time to take "remarkable steps" towards rehabilitation.
He said Appleby had shown "refreshing" honesty when discussing his offending and lack of insight into some of his behaviour, in an indication he was "a work in progress" who did not want to foul fall of the law again.
Mr Doig urged Justice Loukas-Karlsson to craft a sentence that allowed Appleby to, as soon as possible, "prove to society that he has learned a very valuable lesson".
The judge, who previously told Appleby his offences were "appalling", said she would impose a sentence on March 30.
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