A Geraldton man who accessed almost 150 images and videos of child exploitation material out of “curiosity” and “loneliness” has been jailed for 12 months. Paul Andrew Rees was arrested in December 2021 after officers with the WA Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team located the abusive material on the man’s desktop computer. Geraldton District Court on Monday heard 35 of the 67 videos found on the device were in the two most serious categories and depicted adults sexually abusing children. One video was described as being a “particularly disturbing” example of “staged bondage” involving a young girl being abused by an adult male. The remaining videos and 79 images were said to show various levels of severity, with the material accessed using a peer-to-peer network system. Defence counsel George Giudice said Rees had experienced severe “loneliness” and “low self-esteem” at the time of the offending, which also occurred in an “atmosphere of alcohol abuse”. Mr Giudice said the 47-year-old was a man of prior good character and had only accessed the material “out of curiosity” in the context of his poor mental health. Since his arrest, Rees has engaged in counselling and was not likely to reoffend, according to Mr Giudice. “His psychologist says (Rees) does now understand that these are real people who are being very seriously abused,” he said. “His employer has noticed a change in him and he is reliable, punctual, and a good worker. “He has taken positive steps to address his mental health and is at a low risk of reoffending.” Judge Amanda Burrows accepted Rees’ remorse and agreed there was a low risk of reoffending. But she said the number and severity of the articles of abusive material warranted a sentence of imprisonment for Rees. “There is a significant level of perversion and depravity in the material,” she said. “These children must live with the knowledge these images exist and are there for eternity and can be disseminated at any time.” She sentenced Rees to 12 months behind bars, with the man eligible for parole after six months.