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Sydney swim coach Mark Sendecky, 39, busted TWICE for child porn in Victoria

An elite swimming coach watched videos of little boys being raped and molested because he was ‘bored and lonely’, but thought it was OK keeping the vile material because the young victims ‘appeared happy’.

Mark Sendecky, who is just days shy of his 40th birthday, faced Sydney’s District Court on Friday morning where he was sentenced to a maximum five years in jail for posessing child pornography.

But he’s no stranger to the court room.

Almost every decade of the former athlete’s adult life has been punctuated by child porn convictions in his home state of Victoria – the first time in 2006 was at the age of 24, and the second was in 2012 at the age of 30.

He was ordered to do community service the first time around, and successfully appealed a three-month jail sentence six years later in favour of community service and group counselling.

But less than a decade later he was charged again, this time in Sydney, when police uncovered the vile images on his mobile phone in March this year.

Mark Sendecky (pictured) was sentenced on Friday morning in Sydney’s District Court 

The 39-year-old (pictured) has two child porn convictions from when he lived in Victoria

The 39-year-old (pictured) has two child porn convictions from when he lived in Victoria

Donning his prison greens from a cell at Junee Correctional Centre on Friday, the disgraced swimmer remained largely expressionless as Judge Helen Syme detailed the atrocities police found in a Dropbox folder.

In March, detectives uncovered 23 videos on the file-sharing platform showing young boys performing depraved acts on themselves, each other and grown men.

He had a further 1227 images of children between six and 12 being sexually abused, and was charged with possessing and controlling child abuse material using a carriage service.

Judge Syme said all the boys in the videos appeared to know they were being filmed, aside from one which showed four boys, age seven to 14, who appeared unaware they were being recorded while undressing in changerooms at a swimming pool.

There is no suggestion that Sendecky produced any child abuse material himself.

A psychological assessment read to the court said Sendecky slipped back into viewing abuse material in NSW after moving from Victoria, ‘prompted by loneliness and boredom’.

Experts said Mark Sendecky (pictured) had no empathy for the children being abused in the images he kept in Dropbox

Experts said Mark Sendecky (pictured) had no empathy for the children being abused in the images he kept in Dropbox

‘Consumption of adult porn made it easier for him to slip back to watching child abuse material,’ the court heard.

‘He convinced himself he wasn’t hurting anyone and that his actions were anonymous and invisible.’

Ms Syme reminded Sendecky that viewing child abuse is ‘not a victimless crime’ and that young subjects are forced to live with the consequences of the material being swapped and downloaded for the rest of their lives.

The psychologist reported that Sendecky did not feel empathy for the victims in the images and ‘he is still largely in that position’.

‘He was aware of his offending, but thought the subjects [in the images and videos] appeared happy,’ the report read.

As statements about his ‘insecure personality structure’ were read out, along with details of a ‘significant sexual attack’ he endured as a young adult, Sendecky remained expressionless and gazed into the distance.

The 39-year-old was an accomplished swimmer and coach prior to his arrest on March 22

The 39-year-old was an accomplished swimmer and coach prior to his arrest on March 22

Judge Syme accepted that Sendecky suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the attack, and the psychologist’s observation that he has not been able to mentally adjust to the trauma.

The court heard he coped through ‘avoidance, inflexibility and controlled obsessiveness’, and experts suggested he has borderline personality disorder – a psychological problem that impacts the way sufferers think and feel about themselves and others.

While the judge took those factors into consideration, she said he could have sought help from mental health professionals at any time.

Sendecky has not set foot outside a jail in the eight months since he was arrested because experts said he was at high risk of reoffending. 

Even though the maximum sentence for his crimes are 15 years behind bars, Sendecky will serve  a maximum of five years – inclusive of the time he has already spent in custody.

Judge Syme said the reduced sentence was because he admitted guilt at the earliest opportunity in September and cooperated with police since his arrest. 

He has a non-parole period of three years and nine months, which means he could be back in the community in December 2024. 

The court heard Mark Sendecky felt as though watching child abuse videos weren't hurting anyone

The court heard Mark Sendecky felt as though watching child abuse videos weren’t hurting anyone

The judge recommended he go on the waiting list for an intensive 10-month rehabilitation program, which he may have to complete after his sentence due to the three-year wait list.

At his hearing on Tuesday, lawyer Erin Hoile told Judge Syme that her client ‘knows’ using Dropbox, Twitter account linked to the email username ‘sniffsniff16’ to access the vile footage and images was ‘wrong’.

‘It’s taken until now for me to accept that I had a serious problem that I need to fix. I can’t hide it anymore and pretend everything is ok,’ Sendecky said, according to Ms Hoile.

She explained her client didn’t try to conceal his identity online, or hide the Dropbox folder behind false email addresses or phone numbers.

Ms Hoile also argued the number of videos that showed children being molested was ‘relatively low’ compared to other cases, and pointed out that police didn’t find any depraved images of babies during a search of his electronics. 

His sister-in-law previously told Daily Mail Australia she knew the case had ‘something to do with the internet and underage children’.

She said the allegations were ‘pretty upsetting’ for her family.

A source previously told Daily Mail Australia Sendecky was a ‘quiet person’ who kept to himself after moving from Melbourne to Sydney three years ago.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk