16 February 2022

Fast food worker accused of planning attack on 13-year-old child

| Albert McKnight
ACT Courts

Christopher Alex Middleton, 20, has been charged with allegedly producing child abuse material. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A young man who works at a fast food outlet is accused of planning an attack on at least one child and has been charged with producing child abuse material.

Christopher Alex Middleton, 20, from Harrison, successfully applied for bail variations when he appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (16 February).

In November last year, ACT Policing, including a specialist canine technology detection dog, raided a home in Harrison, seizing two laptop computers and two mobile phones they allege contained child abuse material.

When Mr Middleton appeared in court, he was charged with producing and transmitting child abuse material, as well as possessing child abuse material in a data storage device, but did not enter any pleas.

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Prosecutor Natasha Purvis said the statement of facts alleged police had found discussions around attacks on 13-year-old children when they searched Mr Middleton’s devices.

She fought his move to delete a condition of his bail that meant he had to report to authorities, saying he posed a flight risk and the alleged offending occurred while he was living with his mother and father so they did not provide a protective factor for him.

She also said further charges were being considered.

But Carley Hitchins from Aulich said he had a casual job and even if he wanted to flee he didn’t have the means to do so.

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Under questioning from Magistrate Louise Taylor, Ms Purvis said he hadn’t breached his bail conditions since his bail began last November nor was there any suggestion he had tried to flee the ACT.

“I’m deleting the reporting condition,” Magistrate Taylor said. She continued bail and adjourned the case to 31 March.

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