ANDY MUIRHEAD often did the unexpected.
Few schoolmates in Hobart picked the thin, reserved boy as a future stand-up comedian, let alone a TV personality.
At the same time as he made a name in Collectors and on breakfast radio, Muirhead puzzled ABC colleagues. Bubbly on the mike, he was contained and withdrawn off air.
But the biggest surprise was in store for his family, and ''the hundreds of thousands of people who trusted me and and invited me into their homes each Friday night''. In his own home, Muirhead was watching child pornography in the upstairs bedroom.
The Tasmanian Chief Justice, Ewan Crawford, sentenced Muirhead, 36, to 10 months imprisonment, to be released after seven months, on three child pornography charges.
It was not the worst of cases, Justice Crawford said. But it involved 1930 children. ''The court must condemn what he did by imposing imprisonment.''
According to a clinical psychologist's report to the court, Muirhead's action could be likened to the morbid curiosity of a car crash spectator, and was not sexually motivated.
Justice Crawford was not persuaded. ''I am satisfied that he had a sexual interest,'' he said.
Muirhead admitted downloading 12,409 images and 24 videos over a 14-month period from early 2009. They were recovered from his hard drive after attempts to delete them.
Australian Federal Police officers estimated around 11,000 of the images were at the lowest level of harm, but more than 500 involved penetrative sex or sadism, and some children were as young as three.
After two months on remand, Muirhead will be eligible for release in March 2013.