Home detention for child-sex movies

Last updated 05:00 27/06/2012

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A Hamilton man caught with 65 movies featuring sex offending against children said he was just trying to find out if he was like his father.

Dean Gregory Cates, 25, an operations analyst, was sentenced in Hamilton District Court yesterday to seven months' home detention for 10 charges of possessing an objectionable publication.

The movies – featuring children as young as six – were found after a police sting in August. Crown prosecutor Richard Annandale described the offending as "deliberate and sustained".

"There was a degree of premeditation and deliberateness to the prisoner's actions. This was not a simple case of web browsing," he said.

"[Cates] had separated the files into a principal folder and within that had created sub-folders."

Mr Annandale said the most confusing thing was the offender's explanation to probation services, during his pre-sentence interview.

Cates, who was living with his mother in Pukete at the time, said he was trying to work out whether he had any traits similar to his father, who was jailed for similar offending in the 1990s.

Mr Annandale argued that the only possible reason for the offending could be Cates' sexual gratification. A sentence of home detention would be an inadequate response, sending the wrong message to the community.

Defence counsel Bruce Hesketh, however, said most (60 per cent) of the videos found by police were of a low level and his client was eager to attend any rehabilitative programmes available.

Judge Merelina Burnett said the law required her to view Cates as complicit in the original abuse perpetrated against the children in the movies but she was optimistic about his prospects of turning his life around.

She ordered the destruction of equipment he used to view the objectionable material and ruled he would not be allowed access to the internet during his sentence.

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- Waikato Times

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