Will Hunter

Dad put on sex-offender register for reporting 'sext'

A FURIOUS dad who learned his teenage step-daughter was receiving sexually-explicit photo messages from her boyfriend has been charged and convicted for possessing child pornography after he reported the images to police.

Ashan Ortell, 57, copied the images onto a computer and USB stick after confiscating the 15-year-old's phone.

He used the images to encourage his daughter's school and Victoria Police to take action.

At the time, he was warned by police it was illegal for him to keep the images.

He refused to delete them because he was unhappy with the response from both police and the school.

Ortell's home was then targeted by police in multiple raids in 2013, in which officers confiscated USB disks and his computer.

Police found 18 images on the devices. 

Ortell pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour bond, in a case Judge Jane Patrick described as unusual.

The Judge said Ortell did not have the images for any kind of sexual motivation, but "because you were very concerned about what had been going on and foolishly decided that this was the way to deal with it".

"There is no suggestion of any exploitation of them by anybody.

"You made no attempt to conceal the images. In fact you were so concerned that you contacted the authorities about the images."

Ortell will now be on the sex offenders register for eight years, meaning he must report his whereabouts and is not allowed to work with children.