Muirhead pleads guilty, “Shameful, reckless and stupid.”

Former Collectors host Andy Muirhead has pleaded guilty and made his first statement on his child pornography case.

Former Collectors host Andy Muirhead has pleaded guilty to 2 charges of accessing the internet for child pornography, and one of possessing child pornography.

He has also made his first statement on the case which began with his arrest in 2010.

The court has been told that Muirhead used peer-to-peer software to access more than 12,000 picture files and 24 videos. The ages of children depicted ranged from three to 14 and at least 60 were in the worst category, showing the explicit or sadistic treatment of children.

Muirhead, 36, expressed his deep regret via a letter to the Tasmanian Supreme Court.

“What I did was shameful, reckless and stupid,” he said.

“I have spent the last two years going over it in my mind, night and day, and I doubt I will ever stop feeling ashamed of what I did.

“The things I saw on my computer were vile and disgusting.

“The people depicted in those images were real people with the right to safe and happy lives.

“I can’t imagine how much hurt has been caused to the people depicted in those images, through no fault of their own. I acknowledge that, in viewing such images I contributed to their hurt and suffering.

“My family and friends, my work colleagues and the hundreds of thousands of people who trusted me and invited me into their homes each Friday night via the television program Collectors or listened and shared conversations with me on ABC Radio.

“Those conversations and connections with individuals and communities around the country meant the world to me, and it will always be my deep regret that I let so many people down in such a stupid and pointless way. For that I am truly sorry.”

Chief Justice Ewan Crawford said he needed to consider a psychologist’s report after prosecutor Maitland Lincoln took issue with it. The report, tendered by Muirhead’s defence, concludes he has no sexual interest in children despite him downloading more than 12,000 child pornography images from February 2009 until June 2010.

Chief Justice Crawford said the evidence in the report may need to be proven in court.

Muirhead has been remanded in custody until his next appearance on August 14.

Source: The Age, Daily Telegraph