Why paedophile dwarf who tricked young girls into sending him nude photos could soon walk free despite five year sentence – as his MP father breaks down in tears during court
- Daniel James Knuth was jailed Thursday
- He is eligible for parole in April
- He’s a repeat child abuser
A politician’s pedophile son could walk free from jail in just two months despite being busted with a horrific stash of hundreds of child porn images.
Daniel James Knuth, son of Australian Party north Queensland MP Shane Knuth, pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges in Townsville District Court on Thursday.
The 25-year-old with dwarfism, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for the 593 photos and four videos of child exploitation material discovered on his phone in September, 2021, the Townsville Bulletin reported.
He was also caught communicating with young girls, with some aged just 12, on Snapchat and Facebook.
However, as Knuth has already served considerable time behind bars, he will be eligible for parole in April.
Daniel James Knuth (above) could walk free from jail in April despite only being convicted of child sex offences on Thursday
Knuth (bottom left) is the son of north Queensland MP Shane Knuth (top centre), part of the Australian Party
Knuth was already serving a four-year suspended sentence after he pleading guilty to 35 child sex offences in 2019.
It was found Knuth, 21 at the time, had pretended to be a personal trainer on Facebook to lure young girls into sending him nude photos.
The charges included possession of child exploitation material, using a carriage service for child exploitation material and grooming a child under 16.
Thursday’s presiding judge said the 2019 ruling granted ‘incredible leniency’ and took Knuth’s dwarfism into consideration.
The court also heard Knuth was struggling with alcohol abuse when police discovered he was not complying with reportable sex offender obligations.
Defence barrister Jess Horn said Knuth was driven to alcohol after he was regularly called a ‘paedophile’ by residents and was ‘ostracised’ from his community.
‘He was excluded from his church and experienced several public confrontations, including, for example, being called a paedophile when simply walking across the street,’ he said.
‘He resorted instead to alcohol abuse to numb his physical pain and emotional pain and, by the time he committed the offences, he was drinking a bottle of vodka over about two days.’
One of the requirements of the four-year suspended sentence was that Knuth must declare all new social media and email accounts, the ABC reported.
Crown prosecutor Nicole Butler recalled one instance where Knuth was hungover and asleep when officers visited his family home to check compliance.
She said Knuth tried to ‘grab’ his phone from officers, who found he’d created new Snapchat, Facebook and email accounts under fake names.
Knuth (pictured with his father) was found in possession of 593 photos and four videos of child exploitation material while serving a four-year suspended sentence for prior child sex offences
‘The defendant had used the application to communicate with a number of girls aged between 12 to 16 years, including a picture of a person in a high school uniform,’ Ms Butler said.
The more than 600 items of child pornographic material was also found on the phone.
The court heard Knuth was arrested six weeks later and police found the 25-year-old had obtained a new phone with about 20 more photos and two videos of child porn.
Shane Knuth, who cried as his son was sentenced, told reporters outside the court: ‘From the beginning, Daniel’s acknowledged he’s done the wrong thing, and as parents, we love him, but we don’t condone what he’s done.’
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