Home detention for child abuse images

Last updated 13:17 27/06/2014

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An Auckland man has been sentenced to 10 months' home detention for sending and possessing electronic images and movies depicting child sexual abuse.

The 42-year-old man appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday. He was denied name suppression and is now appealing that decision.

He was the first of six offenders identified under Operation Hyper, which Customs launched last June after receiving information from Queensland police.

It concerned a New Zealander who was chatting online to others about child sexual abuse images, and sending images of very young girls posing and performing acts of a sexual nature.

Forensic examination of his electronic devices located hundreds of saved and deleted images, and retrieved information that identified a network of online offenders.

Customs manager border operations Shane Panettiere said it was ironic that the man wanted to remain anonymous to protect his privacy, as privacy was one thing child sexual abuse victims never had from the moment their images began to circulate on the internet.

"Most people don't understand the seriousness of online child sexual exploitation - it is not harmless," Panettiere said.

"Children suffer horrific sexual violation and this is photographed or filmed for the sexual enjoyment of others. These children are revictimised every time these images are viewed."

Under Operation Hyper, New Zealand and UK authorities carried out simultaneous warrants in September 2013, uncovering information that led to two more warrants in December.

Four New Zealand men and two UK men were caught, four children that could have been harmed were identified, and a 6-year-old UK victim was rescued from physical abuse by her grandfather, Panettiere said.

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