Update: Between 2017 and 2018, Clarke was handed the position of chairman of Swindon & Wiltshire Gay Pride. However, no DBS check was ever made, although his position brought him into contact with youngsers
Former Ballarat school staffer jailed after caught with 15,000 child sexual abuse images
A Ballarat father and former employee of a local secondary school, caught with almost 15,000 child sexual abuse images and hundreds of videos, has been jailed for 15 months.
Sentencing Lee Terrence Clarke, 42, of Wendouree, in the County Court at Ballarat on Tuesday morning, Judge Frank Gucciardo said having to view some of the images himself had been “revolting”
Judge Gucciardo said many of the images, thousands of which depicted young boys engaged in sexual acts with grown men, were “abhorrent” and the offending “depraved”.
“They are exploited and abused young children,” Judge Gucciardo said.
“This is a sustained cause of conduct and is not isolated offending.”
The judge said there had been “a very large number of victims used to produce such filth”.
Judge Gucciardo said Clarke, a father of two boys who had been married at the time of his offending, was caught in October 2012 after allowing a covert police member to access his collection of child abuse images
The judge said Clarke had been the member of an online peer-to-peer file sharing network and both viewed and shared files with 250 other users.
He expressed concern that Clarke, using an online messaging system, also discussed grooming tactics with other users and on one occasion told a user he had once engaged in a sexual act with a young boy he met near a shopping centre.
Clarke pleaded guilty to charges of accessing child porn using a carriage service and making child porn available using a carriage service.
Clarke will be eligible for parole in nine months.
He has also been placed on the sex offenders register for 15 years.