Former NSW cop jailed for child abuse pics

A former NSW police sergeant who accessed thousands of child abuse images has been jailed for at least four months.

Judge Ian Bourke on Friday described the custodial term as "relatively short" when sentencing Michael Anthony Mannah, 50, in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court.

He was charged in January 2021 and found guilty of one count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material in September 2022.

The jury found Mannah not guilty of a second count relating to possession of child abuse material.

Mannah, who was stood down and then resigned from the NSW Police Force before his trial, accessed about 5000 child abuse images in less than six months in 2020 and 2021, while warrants allowed police to monitor his iPhone.

About 300 cartoon images depicting sexual poses or activity involving children were also accessed along with a small number of images depicting actual sexual activity involving people under 18.

"The offence involved a large number of images, mostly of real children, and the number of children victimised, I conclude, must have also been large," Judge Bourke said.

Mannah's former job as a police officer was taken into consideration at sentencing.

"I accept this is likely to make any time in custody more difficult, stressful and perhaps more dangerous for him," Judge Bourke said.

He noted Mannah did not save, sell or distribute any material, but said there was no acceptable sentence that did not involve time in prison.

Mannah had denied any sexual interest in children, telling a doctor he was a lover of "voluptuous women".

He also denied seeing the "very large number of images" he accessed depicting children in sexually suggestive poses, denials Judge Bourke did not wholly accept.

"In my view there is no contrition or remorse in this case," the judge said.

Mannah was sentenced to 12 months in prison but will be eligible for a recognisance release order in May, set to last two years.

He will have to be of good behaviour, remain under supervision and comply with the orders of a probation officer.