A court has been told a man lacked awareness why it was wrong to download child pornography and do so in a retail store.

In the Adelaide District Court, Michael John Stam, 38, of Christies Beach pleaded guilty to offences, including aggravated counts of accessing and possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors said Stam used a mobile phone in a Telstra shop to download the pornography, two years ago.

Judge David Lovell expressed concern psychological assessments indicated Stam lacked insight into his offending.

He feared the man might pose a community risk.

"I don't think it's a case where a short custodial sentence will teach him a lesson, so to speak, that's the difficulty," the judge said.

"The comforting thing for me and perhaps for the DPP is that, whilst he has been under supervision [on bail], there have been no allegations of further problems."

Prosecutor Dominic Petraccaro agreed.

"Yes, it's been two years and there has been no suggestion of him even attempting to access this sort of material again," he said.

"In terms of accessing child pornography in the Telstra shop using their phone, he was always going to get caught."

Stam's lawyer Oliver Koehn said his client could be at risk in prison.

"He is a quite intellectually-disabled person who can mutter the right responses but when it comes down to it, doesn't understand," he told the court.

"He is going to be a very vulnerable person in the prison environment and will be exposed to bullying and harassment to a degree that other prisoners wouldn't.

"This man is not completely unaware that what he did was wrong. What he is unaware of is why it is wrong."

The prosecution said any bond would require Stam was supervised to ensure he was rehabilitated.

He will be sentenced in a fortnight.

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