Man caught with ‘worst’ child abuse videos at airport

Rex Martinich |

Border Force found 73 child abuse videos on the phone of a man who arrived at Brisbane Airport.
Border Force found 73 child abuse videos on the phone of a man who arrived at Brisbane Airport.

A man who was caught with dozens of child sexual abuse videos on his phone after flying to Australia has been spared jail but could face deportation.

Nischal Singh Thakuri, 25, faced Brisbane District Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally importing prohibited goods in the form of child exploitation material.

Thakuri arrived at Brisbane Airport on March 21, 2023 via a flight from Singapore after visiting family in Nepal.

As a Nepalese national, Thakuri had been living in Australia since 2018 on a graduate visa and working as a chef in Townsville.

The crown prosecutor said Thakuri was identified by the Border Force for a bag check and co-operated with officers who then asked him to unlock his Samsung Galaxy smartphone and open an encrypted folder within the device.

He was found in possession of 73 videos, 51 of which featured a child under 13 involved in or witnessing a sexual act.

The prosecutor said Thakuri told officers he knew the videos were of child exploitation material and that he had downloaded 150 to 200 videos in the months before he arrived in Australia.

“He said he felt awkward and disgusted with himself,” the prosecutor said.

She said Thakuri should be given a custodial sentence as the videos were classified among the worst kind seen by police.

“The gravity of the sexual activity depicted was particularly serious … female children aged six to 16 and some videos involving adults,” she said.

Defence barrister Jack Kennedy said Thakuri had co-operated with Border Force and police, and entered an early guilty plea.

“He has not attempted to minimise his conduct. He has shown shame and remorse,” he said.

Mr Kennedy said Thakuri’s conviction would have far-reaching effects on his life, including potentially his ability to stay in Australia.

Non-citizens in Australia can have their visa cancelled by the immigration minister if they are sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more, even if they serve no time in custody.

Judge Nathan Jarro said Thakuri had committed a serious offence but also expressed regret.

“These are not victimless crimes. By viewing this material you are supporting a depraved market where real children are being abused,” he said.

Thakuri was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment to be released immediately with probation for two years and a $2000 good behaviour bond for three years.

He was also ordered to take part in any mental health treatment or sex offender counselling prescribed by probation authorities.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028