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Man admits accessing more than 20,000 child pornography images

A man who admitted accessing more than 23,000 items of child pornography will be sentenced in the Supreme Court next week.

Li-Shan Wong, 43, was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday, but the case was adjourned until Monday to allow the prosecution more time to decide what length of jail term to ask for.

Cindy Clarke, the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court that the charge of access to child pornography was different from possession and that the Crown would need time to find similar cases to determine the appropriate jail sentence.

But she added that the Crown was likely to seek a sentence between a year and 18 months imprisonment for each of the three offences to “send a message to the community that this behaviour will not be tolerated or treated lightly”.

She added: “Persons who produce child abusive material do so whilst exploiting the most vulnerable persons in our society and without persons, such as the defendant, to access the material there would be no market for its production.

“It is with growing increase of access to the internet that these sorts of offences are on the rise.”

She was speaking after Wong pleaded guilty on Thursday to three counts of accessing and downloading child pornography, which included images, videos and written material.

The court heard yesterday that police executed a search warrant on Wong’s Hamilton Parish home in December 2017 after they got information that "indecent“ content was being accessed online at the address.

Police seized several electronic devices and arrested Wong on suspicion of accessing and downloading child pornography.

He told police that he lived alone and had done so since he moved to the island in 2014, but remained silent for most of the interview.

An analysis of the electronic equipment revealed 20,017 photographs and ten videos of children, as well as 3,477 short stories that referenced sexual abuse of children.

Police interviewed Wong again in June 2018 and he again remained silent for much of the interview, but confirmed knowledge of some of the websites that the images were downloaded from.

Ms Clarke told the court the majority of the material was classed as Level 1 in the UK sentencing guidelines – the lowest of five levels.

She added that the material was thought to have been collected as far back as February 2014.

Ms Clarke said there was evidence that Wong, who used to be employed at an IT firm, had attempted to delete the material.

Puisne Judge Craig Attridge adjourned the case until Monday and extended Wong’s $10,000 bail.

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