Children as young as seven years old were among those featured in hundreds of items of child abuse material found in the home of the former manager of Dubbo's Dundullimal Homestead, the Daily Liberal can reveal.
Dubbo District Court heard that 333 images and two videos were found on computers and a storage device police found in Gregory Maxwell Marginson's home.
When giving evidence at a sentencing hearing in Dubbo on Wednesday, Marginson said he was part of a child-abuse community and described his behaviour as "abhorrent".
"The sexual interest in children grew out of an interest in college girl fantasies," the 61-year-old man told the court.
"It had been part of my life for a long time."
Marginson said some of the people in the photos and videos in his possession could be dead.
"There are real people involved," he told the court.
"Some of them may not be alive today."
In December 2017 Marginson was charged with one count of soliciting pornography material, after he sought to swap content with an undercover detective in an online chatroom six weeks earlier.
When police arrested Marginson, numerous pieces of equipment were taken from his home and analysed before he was charged with possessing child abuse material in March 2018.
"Well that's the end of my life now... my hidden secret is out," he told police during the arrest.
"I've hidden a dark secret for a long time. It's an addiction. It's fantasy."
The Crown prosecutor said Marginson should be sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
"The images and videos are depraved," she said.
Marginson's legal representative told the court it was not known how many children appeared in the photographs or videos.
"The majority were of young children in provocative poses," the legal representative said.
"They involve children aged between seven and 14."
Marginson's legal representative said a psychologist was treating his client.
"He [Marginson] appreciates what he's done, he seems to be released from it."
When asked what he would do if he got a computer again, Marginson said "I'm going to look up the weather everyday" and denied he would engage in illegal activity.
Judge Philip Ingram reserved his judgement, continued Marginson's bail and set June 20 as the sentencing date.