Child sex abuse imagery lands man in prison

Last updated 05:00 04/07/2014

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A Central Otago man is behind bars after pleading guilty to more than 30 child sex abuse offences.

The man, in his 40s, stood crying in the dock at the Alexandra District Court yesterday as Judge Stephen Coyle sentenced him to two years' jail on a charge of making an objectionable publication and four of distributing, plus eight months' concurrently for five charges of publication of intimate visual recordings.

He was also fined $3450 for 23 charges of possession of objectionable images and recordings.

The judge said the crimes were revealed in December when images were found on the man's cellphone.

On February 26, police arrived with a search warrant on the man's computer and found 257 objectionable images, two objectionable videos and 22 indecent photo-sharing sessions in a chatroom.

Additional analysis of the laptop found he had used Skype to distribute a large number of objectionable publications.

Some of the images were of children posing nude and there were also several images involving sexual activity between children and adults and bestiality images involving adults.

The man's offending began through viewing adult pornography, but in time moved to child sex abuse images and bestiality. The impact on his family had been "cataclysmic", the judge said.

The man's lawyer, Tim Cadogan, said he was remorseful and, with "everything coming down around him", had made two suicide attempts.

However, the judge rejected claims of remorse.

"It was only your arrest ... for you to understand fully for the first time the consequences of what you have been involved in. You have regret and guilt but I don't see any evidence of genuine remorse.

"You have issues you need help with and until you address those issues you are a high risk to children. It's not simply a matter of you going cold turkey which you think it is."

No suppression for the defendant was sought.

"The community has a right to know that you are a risk to children ... There is a strong need to deter this type of offending."

The Southland Times is seeking to clarify whether other publication restrictions apply before naming the man.

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