Doctor caught with almost 14,000 child abuse images
A highly-regarded doctor and researcher who was caught with thousands of child abuse images has narrowly avoided jail after a court found there were "exceptional circumstances" at play.
Keith Benjamin Greenland, 62, faced Brisbane District Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to possessing, accessing and distributing child exploitation material.
The court heard the Hamilton anaesthesiologist was at the "height of his career" when Queensland Police discovered almost 14,000 videos and images at his home in January last year.
Barrister Kate Juhasz told the court that the material was mostly of post-pubescent children and said Greenland had made "full and frank admissions" to police.
The court heard that immediately after his arrest, Greenland resigned from all the medical boards and hospitals where he had worked.
Ms Juhasz said Greenland had suffered "public humiliation" when his name was removed from some research papers and asked that he be given a suspended sentence.
Judge Katherine McGinness said it was a "finely balanced case" and stressed that possessing child abuse material was not a victimless crime.
"The possession of such images supports a market which involves the serious exploitation of young and vulnerable children who are entitled of safety, respect and to the opportunity of that very rare experience of childhood innocence," she said.
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Judge McGinness sentenced Greenland to 2.5 years' jail wholly suspended, telling him she hoped he appreciated "how close" he came to jail.
"I do accept in your case that the consequences you have suffered so far are most likely to deter you from ever offending again," she said.
"You have lost your career, your reputation built up over many years of hard work and dedication to your patients and to the medical world. That in itself is a form of punishment."
Greenland was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service.
Originally published as Doctor caught with almost 14,000 child abuse images