Courts release shamed coach
AN IPSWICH football coach jailed for possessing child pornography has been released after successfully appealing his sentence.
Ricky Carl Jones was ordered to spend three months out of a 15 month sentence behind bars after admitting downloading child pornography.
But he was released yesterday after spending less than two months in jail.
Police found 44 images and seven videos of child exploitation material in Jones’ Barellan Point home.
Much of the material was in “category four” – the second-worst category – and depicted children as young as six in sexual acts.
On April 8 Ipswich District Court Judge Gregory Koppenol sentenced Jones to 15 months’ jail, to be released after three months on a $2000 good behaviour bond, for using a carriage service to download the material.
He also received a 12-month concurrent jail sentence for two offences of possessing child exploitation material.
Jones, 47, pleaded guilty to all three charges.
But his lawyers appealed the sentence, arguing Jones had suffered public shaming by appearing in The Queensland Times newspaper over his offences and should not spend any time in jail.
Commonwealth prosecutors agreed a 15-month jail sentence with immediate release was appropriate.
Defence barrister Steve Kissick said he “could not object” to media coverage of the case but public shaming was a “relevant consideration”.
“Because of my client’s position at the time – a coach in local football – he did receive significant shaming,” Mr Kissick said.
But Judge Koppenol argued the media had a right to report on the case.
“There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion,” Judge Koppenol said at the time.
“The media has a right and should be encouraged.”
Judge Koppenol said courts should take a tough stand against people who accessed and possessed child pornography as it was not a victimless crime.
Mr Kissick applied for Supreme Court bail for his client shortly after the sentence but it was refused and Jones remained in jail pending the result yesterday.
The Supreme Court of Appeal increased Jones’ sentence to two years for using a carriage service but ordered he be released from jail immediately.
The 12 month sentence was not changed on appeal.
The court heard Jones had turned to the internet and pornography when his second marriage broke down and he was depressed.
After being charged in 2009 Jones was stood down from the Norths Rugby League Club, where he had coached adult players as well as juniors since 1994.