Notorious child sex offender held in custody

A FORMER Gatton doctor once jailed in Bulgaria for child sex offences has appeared in a Toowoomba court charged with similar matters.

Joseph Lee Smith appeared in custody before Toowoomba Magistrates Court charged with "using the internet to procure children under 16".

Police claim the 46-year-old had from his home in Toowoomba befriended a boy in Victoria via Instagram and allegedly had the boy send him images of him dancing naked.

It is alleged Smith sent the boy a gift in a parcel which the boy's mother intercepted and contacted police.

Police claim Smith's fingerprint was found inside that parcel and a search warrant for his Toowoomba home was executed by local police who allegedly discovered child pornography on his computer.

Smith was not required to enter any plea to the charge and, through duty solicitor Jag MacDonald, applied for bail.

Prosecutor Eddie Fraser said police objected to bail due to the defendant's history and that there was some sophistication to his use of the internet in that his accounts were near untraceable.

Mr MacDonald said his client was a third year engineering student at the University of Southern Queensland and he had exams in three weeks' time for which it would be difficult to sit should he be remanded in custody.

Magistrate Robbie Davies said it would be expected the defendant would face further charges arising from the search warrant but he would not consider that in deciding on bail.

However, he directed Mr Fraser to advise police that if further charges were to be laid to have that done expeditiously.

Mr Davies read extensively from Smith's criminal history which showed he had been jailed for five years in Bulgaria, to where he had travelled in 2008, for child sex offences there.

Released from that sentence in 2012, Smith had then been sentenced to three years jail, to serve one year, in 2013 for possessing child pornography of the most serious categories.

Mr Davies noted Smith had then been jailed for two years, to serve 10 months, and three years probation in May 2015 after admitting to accessing child pornography on a computer at a Brisbane internet cafe in April 2014.

Mr Davies said it appeared the evidence against Smith on this most recent charge was "overwhelming" and he found him an unacceptable risk of re-offending if granted bail.

Bail was refused and Smith remanded in custody, the case adjourned for mention back in the same court on November 8.



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