FORMER Orange Public School teacher Jarrod Johnson-Smith, 43, told Orange District Court Thursday he was disgusted with his behaviour in downloading pornographic images of children from the internet and was "petrified" at the prospect of being sent to jail.
During Thursday’s sentencing hearing Judge Colin Charteris revoked a suppression order on facts of the case, including the name of the former schoolteacher, who was dismissed from the Department of Education and Communities after Australian Federal Police raided his home last year and found more than 30 pornographic images of children in his possession.
“There needs to be transparency and the community is entitled to know,” Judge Charteris said.
Johnson-Smith has pleaded guilty to using a carriage service [his computer] to access child pornography and to produce, disseminate or possess child abuse material.
The offences took place at his home in Cowra while he was teaching in Orange.
Johnson-Smith’s barrister Bill Walsh told the court his client has been undergoing specialist counselling in recent months and was prepared to continue with counselling as an alternative to a custodial sentence.
He said his client would be at risk if sent to jail, and if the court imposed a suspended sentence the future still looked bleak for his client.
“He has lost his employment,” Mr Walsh said.
“But he’s a schoolteacher. The question is, whose fault is that?” Judge Charteris said.
Mr Walsh called Johnson-Smith’s mother Patricia Smith to the stand, who told the court the accused was a model son.
“We are devastated and so stressed. We can’t comprehend this,” she said.
Judge Charteris said when he sentenced Johnson-Smith next week he would take into consideration the category of the offences, with the majority of the 36 images being in the lower range of child pornography material.
“But some of the images are appalling,” he said.
Judge Charteris said he had to weigh up the impact on the young victims in the images and the potential for Johnson-Smith to reoffend.
He said the long-term impact on some of the young people in the pornographic images was immeasurable.
The court also heard conflicting evidence from two psychologists who had interviewed Johnson-Smith, saying he had a low and medium chance of reoffending.
Commonwealth Department of Prosecution solicitor Stacey Hatch, who was prosecuting the case, told the court the Crown had no objection to a suspended jail sentence for the accused.