Woman sentenced for abusing baby and selling footage

Krystal Harvey was sentenced for abusing a baby and selling the footage.
MICHAEL BRADLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Krystal Harvey was sentenced for abusing a baby and selling the footage.

A woman who filmed herself sexually violating a one-year-old child has been sentenced in the Manukau District Court.

Krystal Harvey, 23, who is a mother, recorded the act and sold it to a man with the knowledge he would publish the video online.

She received about $300 for the recording and used that money to buy herself a laptop.

Judge Philip Recordon sentenced the woman to eight months' home detention and 100 hours' community work.

"It [the crime] was premeditated, it was thought out, you did it for money. 

"The victim was vulnerable. It was a breach of trust at the highest level," the judge said.

However, though he considered the crime "repellent," Recordon took pity on the woman and said she was yet capable of leading a productive life.

She had been through foster families as a child and had Child, Youth and Family involved in her life "since birth", the court heard through her lawyer Annabel Maxell-Scott.

Her client had a mental faculty younger than her age, she said, but was aware of the gravity of her offending.

"She's ashamed. She has come to court in the full knowledge of this offending," she said.

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"She's aware that she has brought this on herself."

The offending took place on August 10, 2014.

Harvey was "actively groomed" by the man who bought the footage, her lawyer said.

"Over a series of months he started requesting a number of things . . . and ultimately offered money for the video to be made.

"It's obviously a repellent crime. It makes us feel uncomfortable even talking about it," Maxwell-Scott said.

But Harvey was a "naive and vulnerable young woman", she said, who had had "an extremely difficult upbringing".

Crown prosecutor Nick Dobbs had requested a sentencing starting point of six-seven years, while Maxwell-Scott proposed a starting point of four years.

The judge took into account several reductions and sentenced the first-time offender to eight months' home detention.

He then declined her application for permanent name suppression.

The grandparents of the child, who were in court, had asked for the woman to be named and Recordon said he would not go against the wishes of the family.

Speaking outside court, the grandparents of the victim said they were "a bit disappointed" with the length of the sentence, but respected the court's decision.

"She's not shown any remorse," the grandmother said through tears.

 - Stuff

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