A relief school teacher who was a former secondary school teacher and school welfare officer was arrested on 22 January 2015 following a search warrant being executed at his home in Mebourne’s West Footscray. The 62-year-old Melbourne man, Alan Dalton was charged with accessing child pornography material over an extended period of time dating back to April 2006, together with possessing child pornography material.
When police explained that the search warrant was in relation to images being downloaded from the internet, Dalton confessed and said that he knew what they were talking about. He pointed to an ‘HP’ Laptop on a small table in the living room and said that this was the computer he used to access child pornography images. A number of further items were seized during the search warrant including a ‘HP’ laptop, a ‘Dell’ laptop, a ‘Medion’ computer and hard drive and five USB devices.
Child pornography material was subsequently located upon these devices, which also contained documents associated with the Dalton’s employment as a school teacher.
When police interviewed Dalton, he made full admissions in relation to accessing and possessing child pornography material and explained that he knew it was both illegal and immoral.
A total of 18,269 child pornography images were found along with 688 child pornography videos.
His Honour, Judge Ryan said that there was a large volume of material, with many children depicted and clearly identified, and Dalton frequently accessed the internet in order to view and download the images. He also stressed that each of the children depicted in the images were victims of the most appalling crimes and that prior good character and steps taken towards rehabilitation should not be allowed to overshadow the objective seriousness of Dalton’s offending nor the application of the principles of general deterrence and public denunciation of crimes of this kind.
Charge / Sentence
On 14 August 2015 Alan Dalton was sentenced to a total effective sentence of 20 months imprisonment with a conditional release from full time custody after serving ten months in prison. The offences he was sentenced for were:
- one count of accessing child pornography material using a carriage service between 1 April 2006 and 14 April 2010, contrary to sub-section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- one count of accessing child pornography material using a carriage service between 15 April 2010 and 21 January 2015, contrary to sub section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- one count of possessing child pornography contrary to section 70(1) of the Crimes Act (Vic).
The first two offences were charged separately because of a change in the maximum penalty during the course of Dalton’s offending. The Judge also ordered that Dalton be subject to the provisions of the Sex Offenders Registration Act for life.