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Biggest Loser hopeful Deryck James Ward jailed over child porn
Deryck James Ward
last year had aspirations of becoming Australia's biggest loser.
Ward, 27, who was to be a contestant on Channel 10's Biggest Loser program, yesterday took a giant
step toward that goal for all the wrong reasons.
The Brisbane District Court was told Ward had been arrested in January last year after police found more than 1000 pictures
and videos of the "worst examples" of child pornography imaginable on his laptop computer.
Ward, of Gaythorne in Brisbane's northwest, was jailed for two years after yesterday pleading guilty to four federal
offences of using a carriage service the internet to download child pornography between December 21, 2009, and January 13 last year.
The former bank employee, who was sacked after his arrest gained national media exposure, also pleaded guilty to one Queensland
criminal offence of possessing child exploitation material.
Judge Michael Shanahan ordered Ward's jail term be suspended after serving six months and imposed an additional term of two years' probation on his release.
Prosecutor David Finch said police seized Ward's laptop early last year and a search of the computer located a large quantity of adult and child porn.
Mr Finch said investigators were able to identify 908 still images and 173 movie files containing child pornography.
Barrister Aaron Simpson, for Ward, said his client had undertaken counselling and had been assessed by mental health professionals as not being a paedophile.
Mr Simpson said Ward had been subjected to national media coverage after his arrest was linked to his participation in The Biggest Loser.
The 2010 season of the show had to be re-edited only days before it went to air to remove all traces of the 189kg Ward and his
then 29-year-old sister, who also was competing.
The Courier-Mail (25-3-2011)
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Ten forced to trim Biggest Loser cast after contestant charged
THE new season of The Biggest Loser has had to be radically re-edited after a Brisbane contestant was charged with possessing child pornography.
Deryck James Ward, 26, of Gaythorne in Brisbane's northwest, was charged by Queensland police on January 16 in relation to material allegedly found at his home.
He and his 29-year-old sister, had been contestants on the fifth season of Loser, which premieres on Sunday night.
Both had been eliminated before the two charges were laid.
Network Ten and production company FremantleMedia Australia were thrown into turmoil after hearing of the charges last week.
Ten announced yesterday the series had undergone major re-editing and would be re-packaged to follow the journey of nine couples instead of the original 10.
No mention of the charged man nor his sister will be included in its broadcast.
It taints what was tipped to be a stunning debut by Brisbane swim champ Hayley Lewis in her new role as Biggest Loser host this weekend.
The couple was the second pair to be eliminated from the reality weight-loss series, which has been in production in Sydney for several months.
"Given the seriousness of these charges and that this matter is to be resolved in the courts, the network decided it will not broadcast
any episode in which Mr Ward would have appeared," a Ten spokeswoman said yesterday.
"We believe this is in every party's interest, including Mr Ward's."
Ward, whose occupation is listed as communications specialist, weighed 189.6kg when he entered the Biggest Loser house with his goal weight being 100kg.
His biographical details for the show state he "started piling on the weight when he was at school" on a diet of junk food.
He was teased at school for being overweight and as a result gave up playing rugby, it said.
Ward cited the death of his father in 2008 - only three weeks after being diagnosed with bowel cancer - as one reason why he over-eats.
"He is now determined to lose weight especially as he's never been in love and would like to start a family," promotional material for the show said.
Ward has been charged with one count of possessing child exploitation material.
He also has been charged with one count of using the internet to access images of child exploitation. He is to appear in court on March 8.
The Courier-Mail (25-1-2010)
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