Routine police inquiries at the home of a then-Oamaru man
led to a major paedophile ring being smashed.
The inquiry started when Detective Sergeant Dan Keno was
given a file by the Online Child Exploitation Across New
Zealand (Oceanz) team. The file had come from overseas.
It concerned an Oamaru resident who had posted pictures of
his child on an online forum, but ''there was nothing
objectionable about those images'', Det Sgt Keno told the
Otago Daily Times yesterday.
With no evidence to support a search warrant, Det Sgt Keno
visited the man to build up a rapport with him.
''You have to build that rapport, whether it is a victim or
an offender, to get the best outcome.''
The man allowed Det Sgt Keno to look at his computer and
''To get a search warrant, we obviously need good cause to
suspect that an offence has happened and at that stage we
didn't have that ... it wasn't until we went through his
emails that it became apparent the extent of what he had
That search uncovered objectionable images, videos, and
comments from the man, who had been in contact with people in
New Zealand and overseas, including Aaron John Ellmers, who
had been offered the Oamaru man's son for $500.
''This is what kicked the whole thing off.''
Ellmers (41) pleaded guilty to 60 charges, including sexual
violation, and was sentenced in the High Court at Napier last
month to preventive detention, for a minimum period of 20
On Wednesday, a 27-year-old South Canterbury man, who
formerly lived in Oamaru, was sentenced to eight years and 10
months' jail for offending against his 13-month-old son.
The man, who had filmed and photographed acts of sexual
violation for trade, was given final name suppression by
Judge Joanna Maze to protect his son.
Det Sgt Keno, who spent a little more than two years working
with a North Island-based Child Protection Team before
returning to Oamaru in November 2011, said the arrest ''was a
pretty good result''.
The child was in a safe and supported environment at an
undisclosed Otago location and was being monitored by Child,
Youth and Family, which was also supporting the boy's mother
and the extended family.
The family were understandably upset by the experience and
were receiving support, he said.
The incident highlighted the importance of internet safety
for parents and guardians, he said.
''It opens a lot of people's eyes how accessible these things
are with the internet these days. Once you press that button,
you don't know where it is going or who it is going to. It's
a big, wide world out there.
''Those images have been distributed quite extensively by the
offender and that tends to be the case with child
exploitation material - it is shared among the paedophile
community, both here and overseas,'' he said.
The case had been a major talking point in Oamaru and people
were shocked that such a case could occur in the town, he
''But it does strengthen those ties with decent people who
can't believe that sort of thing goes on in a community.''
How does a case like this affect those police officers
involved?''It does impact on you, especially when you have
kids of your own. But it makes you more determined to do it
properly and see it through.''