By Sarah Falson

SOUTH MACKAY, Qld: A Harvey Norman customer has been arrested after retail staff found 35 images of child porn on his computer when they serviced the owner’s PC.

The Harvey Norman staff reported their findings to police who arrested and charged the computer’s owner, who appeared in the Mackay District Court on Wednesday.

John McDonough, 57, of South Mackay, pleaded guilty to 35 charges of possessing material which exploited children, even though he initially denied knowledge of the images when police first approached him, Crown prosecutor Peter Smid told The Daily Mercury.

“It was a fairly new computer so there was no question the images could have got there accidentally,” said Smid.

According to McDonough’s barrister, Geoff Stenson, the accused did not realise child porn was against the law.
"He (McDonough) put the computer into Harvey Norman knowing the images were there, not realising they were illegal," he said.

It is not clear when the images were uploaded on to the computer, nor if the computer was purchased from the Harvey Norman store which serviced it, but Stenson told the court that McDonough, retired, did not buy or distribute the images.

The images were not shown in court, but instead a written description of them was shown to the judge.

Stenson said the images were of older children and a paediatrician had to examine them before confirming the subjects were, indeed, naked children involved in sexual activity.