Father jailed for child porn

A Palmerston North man has been jailed for a year for possessing more than 1000 objectionable images and videos of children.

Conan McClelland, who is married with a young child, was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on Friday after earlier admitting 29 representative charges of possessing objectionable material.

The 35-year-old auto-electrical mechanic's offending was uncovered by the Department of Internal Affairs' Censorship Compliance Unit.

The department's community safety manager Steve O'Brien said inspectors found 984 images and 383 videos of an objectionable nature on McClelland's computer, including some of children involved in acts of sadism and bestiality and taking part in sexual activities with other children.

An inspector recognised some of the children as victims previously identified in United States' investigations.

"The copying and viewing of such images perpetuates the damage done to these victims," Mr O'Brien said.

"Our investigation showed that the defendant had been using file sharing software for four years. He downloaded explicit images and videos for two years before deleting his collection, but started it again shortly afterwards. He told us he downloaded 'everything, all ages' until he was discovered."

One video featured a child believed to be between 8 and 9 years old when the film was made.

McClelland had co-operated with the investigation and provided passwords to his computer and programs.

When sentenced, McClelland received credit for his previous good character, remorse and guilty plea.

Mr O'Brien said the case sends a strong message that downloading images of child sexual abuse is a serious crime, requiring a serious response.

"Children are the real victims in these cases. The department continues its vigilance to protect child victims and to detect and hold people accountable for these crimes. People who indulge in this objectionable practice on the Internet in the safety of their homes and think they are safe should think again."

 

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