Former IT employee sent to jail for possessing child abuse material

Employee has lost five jobs since issue was made public last year, reports say

Former IT employee sent to jail for possessing child abuse material

A former employee at a girls’ high school in Sydney was sentenced to jail last week for possessing child abuse material, according to reports.

Michael Thomas Mowbray was sentenced to 18-month imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months by the Manly Local Court on Wednesday, NCA Newswire reported.

The sentence follows his admission of possessing 198 images and 103 videos of child abuse material of girls aged between 10 and 15.

Mowbray was an IT support specialist at the North Sydney Girls High School when the charges against him were made.

According to reports, which cited court documents, Mowbray looked up the images using the TOR browser, which he uploaded to his OneDrive account, and then accessed on his work computer at the school.

The school later discovered the images and reported the former IT officer to the police, who found 198 images and 103 videos of child abuse material on his bedroom computer and on a four-terabyte hard drive.

"Possessing child pornography is a callous and predatory crime," said Magistrate Robyn Denes as quoted by NCA Newswire.

Employment consequences

Prior to his sentencing, Mowbray wrote a letter to court detailing the impact of the charges' publication to the media.

The former IT official said his previous employment, which he noted was his dream job, was "put on indefinite unpaid leave."

It also soured his job prospects, stressing that he lost five jobs since the news was made public by NCA Newswire last year.

"This experience has obviously been a huge toll on me, anxiety through the roof, however in turn has actually made me a better person," he told the court.

According to Mowbray, he is "completely, innately ashamed" that he became a part of the world of child abuse material.

"I will spend the rest of my life proving to the court and all those in my life that I am better than this," he said as quoted by the media.

His application for bail was rejected, as another magistrate said there was no alternative to a full-time custodial sentence to his crime.

Mowbray also filed for an appeal, which will be heard in the District Court in April.

Recent articles & video

Remote worker speaks out about 'unfair dismissal'

Victoria public sector workers to receive paid menstrual leave

'Redundant' general manager claims suitability for new executive role

Worker fights with supervisor, says: 'I've had enough. I quit'

Most Read Articles

Revealed: HRD Australia 5-Star Employers of Choice 2024

Employer sacks manager after out-of-work injury: Was it unfair dismissal?

Fair Work Commission confirms employers can require employees to attend workplace