Connect to share and comment

Australian thief turns himself in with stolen cellphone containing child porn

An Australian thief turned crime fighter, turning himself into police with a phone he stole containing what he suspected to be child pornography on the memory card.

BallaratEnlarge
A Ballarat local walking past the empty Lake Wendouree. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

An Australian thief turned crime fighter, turning himself into police with a phone he stole containing what he suspected to be child pornography on the memory card.

Upon learning the man's actions had led to child pornography charges being laid against a 46-year-old man, the magistrate, Michelle Hodgson, said he should to be congratulated, The Ballarat Courier reported.

"You did the right thing," she said. "That kind of offending is very serious. You are to be commended for your conduct even though it placed you at jeopardy of losing your own liberty."

Ballarat is located in the southern Australian state of Victoria, about 60 miles west of Melbourne.

More from GlobalPost: Australia: The truth about asylum seekers

A local police prosecutor, Steve Kent, said the man had stolen the phone, along with another phone and a wallet from a car with the window left open.

The man, whose name was suppressed by the court, later presented at the Ballarat police station saying he was in possession of a memory card which possibly contained child pornography.

The Ballarat Courier reported:

"Kent said that, despite being warned he may also be prosecuted for theft, the man said he wanted to hand himself in if it assisted police with such investigations. The man also faced charges over a vehicle he allegedly stole from outside a Ballarat flat last year."

The man's defense attorney told the AAP his client showed courage in his actions.

"Notwithstanding his prior criminal history, the moral responsibility that he showed speaks volumes to the different side to his character,'' lawyer Mike Wardell said.

Hodgson sentenced the man to one month in jail and fined him $400.

"We don't want to discourage other like minded people to act in the manner you have," she reportedly said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120208/child-pornography-thief-stolen-mobile-phone-memory-card-australia