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Matthew Miles burnt USB to hide child porn from police, court told

A BRISBANE dad set fire to a computer flash drive containing child pornography he had downloaded from the internet just hours before police searched his home, a court has been told.
The Brisbane District Court was told Matthew Miles's arrest came after more than 1500 Australians downloaded child porn from a Croatian-based astronomy website which was "hacked'' between August 5 and 8, 2007.
The court was told Miles was arrested in January 2009 after an international investigation found almost 145,000 "Internet Protocol'' addresses from more than 170-countries were used to make "12-million hits'' on the Croatian site over a four-day period.
Commonwealth prosecutor Anthony Gett said Miles, after being approached by police, claimed he deleted the images he had downloaded after international media coverage revealed people were being arrested for accessing child porn from the website.
Miles, from Narangba, on Brisbane's northern outskirts, today pleaded guilty to three counts of using a carriage service, the internet, to access child pornography between March 13, 2008, and January 9, 2009.
Mr Gett, in a statement of facts tendered in court, said Miles internet account "came to the attention of police" as they were investigating "1517 persons in Australia" who had accessed child porn from the Croatian site.
"While (Miles) couldn't recall the Croatian website he did admit to (police) to downloading child pornography," Mr Gett said.
"During the execution of the warrant (at his home Miles) stated to police that he had a 'guilt trip' and had deleted images after reading newspaper stories."
Miles, in the statement of facts, told police: "He had saved some images ... and about four hours prior to police executing a search warrant had deleted some on a USB drive by soaking the drive in 'metho' (methylated spirits) and burning it."
The court was told during a search of Miles's computer police found a total of 1694 images and three movies containing child pornography material. "These files depicted female pubescent children, aged between approximately 12 and 16 years, engaged in various sexual acts," the statement of facts says.
Barrister Tony Entriken, for Miles, said his client was "not part of any pedophile ring as such." "My client (Miles) has suffered significant shame (as a result of his offending)," Mr Entriken said.
Judge Marshall Irwin said it was apparent to him Miles was "quite overcome" during the sentencing submissions. Judge Irwin adjourned the hearing, saying he would sentence Miles on Thursday morning.

Courier-Mail February 21, 2011

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