Internet pedophiles caught in Queensland library trap
QUEENSLAND’S biggest public library has become a regular trap for internet pedophiles drawn by the illusion of anonymity among the rows of open-access computers and free Wi-Fi.
The Sunday Mail can reveal State Government security guards who patrol the corridors and run surveillance in the State Library of Queensland at South Bank are routinely catching offenders in the act and handing them over to police.
A government security source said the discovery of child-porn offenders at the library was “not an irregular occurrence, we’ve seen quite a few over the years”.
Recently, two “well-dressed, middle-aged men” had been caught viewing shocking material and held until their arrest by police in separate incidents, the source said.
“To look at them you would never have guessed,” he said. “The free internet is a great service for the public but we also attract the dregs who might not want to do what they’re doing on their home computer.”
Security officers were not about “looking into people’s business” but responding to signals of suspicious behaviour, the source said.
“When they start looking over their shoulder to see if people are watching, then you see they might be trying to hide something.”
In December 2010, guards who had been observing another person of interest noticed a man nearby accessing what looked to be suspicious websites.
It is alleged that closer inspection revealed the man, 45, was accessing explicit images of young boys on five different websites based in Australia and overseas.
The man, then living at a hostel for the homeless in Spring Hill, had been allegedly poring over videos of children as young as 10 in various sexual poses.
It was also claimed he was logged into Facebook under the guise of a 16-year-old boy in a bid to groom young men for sex.
Offenders don’t have to be inside the State Library building to access its free network. Notorious internet pedophile Stephen Anthony Black was found outside its walls using the Wi-Fi service to share child porn in February 2011, the Crime and Misconduct Commission revealed last week.
Black, 38, was one of the first in Queensland to be charged with the new Commonwealth offence of “aggravated networking”. He was jailed for five years on March 1.