‘Reason’ ex-cop looked up child sex abuse

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A former police officer has been jailed for accessing 5000 pieces of child abuse material on his phone and home computer, while still denying he ever intended to view it.

Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court heard prison would be particularly onerous for Michael Mannah, due to his former work as a Sergeant for NSW Police.

But that’s exactly where he will spend at least the next four months after a jury found him guilty of using a carriage service to access child abuse material.

The court heard Mannah had an addiction to adult porn, particularly of “voluptuous women”, which led to him to stumble across underage material.

Judge Ian Bourke said he accepted adult porn was Mannah’s “primary interest” but there was at least “some interest” in viewing the child sex abuse material.

According to agreed facts, Mannah was a Sergeant with NSW Police and helped manage the COVID-19 hotel quarantine program at Novotel during the period of offending.

Michael Mannah has been sentenced to 12 months jail with a non-parole period of four months.Michael Mannah has been sentenced to 12 months jail with a non-parole period of four months.

In the six months to January 2021, police intercepted Mannah’s phone and home internet connection and busted him accessing about 5000 images that fell within the definition of “child abuse material”.

Most were of children posing in a suggestive manner, either in underwear, swimwear, or naked.

There were about 300 files which depicted cartoons, anime, or computer-generated images of children in suggestive poses.

A small number of images depicted children engaging in sexual activity, the facts read.

The court heard Mannah was stood down after his arrest and now works as a storeman.

His ex-wife submitted a letter saying she did not want him to go to prison because he continued to play a significant role in their family’s life.

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But Judge Bourke said it was his view that Mannah had shown no contrition or remorse and sentenced him to 12 months jail, to be released on parole after four months upon paying $100.

When he is released, he must be of good behaviour, be supervised by corrections services, receive psychological treatment and not travel interstate or overseas without the permission of his probation officer.

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