Owner of FNQ Dive Keith Cardwell of Cairns has been granted bail while he appeals his sentence for possessing child exploitation material.
Owner of FNQ Dive Keith Cardwell of Cairns has been granted bail while he appeals his sentence for possessing child exploitation material.

Dive instructor bailed after caught with child abuse images

A dive instructor has been granted bail five days after he was jailed for possessing hundreds of child exploitation images, after his lawyers argued he had "good prospects" of appealing his sentence.

Director of FNQ Dive Keith Cardwell, 70, was given a 15-month head sentence last Thursday after he pleaded guilty to two counts of using a carriage service for child exploitation material and one count of possession of child exploitation material.

 

The Cairns District Court ordered he serve three months of the sentence behind bars after he admitted to possessing 520 images, most of which were category one - depicting young children in sex acts with adults.

Cardwell's lawyers made an application to the Brisbane Supreme Court this morning seeking bail ahead of an appeal into the veteran instructor's sentence which they believe was "manifestly excessive".

Owner of FNQ Dive Keith Cardwell of Cairns has been granted bail while he appeals his sentence for possessing child exploitation material.
Owner of FNQ Dive Keith Cardwell of Cairns has been granted bail while he appeals his sentence for possessing child exploitation material.

Barrister Chris Wilson said by the time an appeal would be heard, Cardwell was at risk of serving too much time behind bars.

Mr Wilson said Cardwell's age, lack of criminal history and the fact that he had deleted the images before Queensland Police found would have "good prospects" of success.

Justice David Boddice said there appeared to be merit in his appeal and granted Cardwell bail.

The appeal is expected to be heard next month.

Originally published as Dive instructor bailed after caught with child abuse images


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