Unable to explain repeated downloads

A Dunedin man said he saved more than 11,000 objectionable videos and images "accidentally", but was grilled about why he did it three more times.

The Dunedin District Court heard closing arguments from both the Crown and defence yesterday in the final day of Pearce Patrick Buckley’s jury trial.

Buckley (33) faced three main charges of possessing objectionable publications, knowing they were objectionable, and three alternative charges of simply possessing them.

They arise from four separate occasions over June 8, 12 and 19 in 2018 when he imported a folder titled "Nunu" into his online cloud storage account on Mega.

When giving evidence, Buckley told the jury he found the link in online forums after he had gone searching for pornography featuring men being dominated by women.

"Were you looking for videos of men playing the role of a baby being dominated by women?" Crown prosecutor Richard Smith asked the defendant.

"Yes. I believe that’s what I was looking for at the time," Buckley replied.

When suggested that kind of content promoted the sexual domination of babies, Buckley disagreed.

"This is a legitimate fetish that hundreds of people have," he said.

Counsel Brendon Stephenson said in his closing statement that Buckley had that fetish because "he [played] a stern domineering role in his working life and [wanted] the exact opposite as some relief in his personal life".

While Buckley said he immediately "exited out" of the folder after he watched one of the videos and realised what it was the first time, he could not explain why the folder was subsequently imported three further times.

Mr Stephenson suggested his client might have inadvertently clicked on the hyperlink again while on another hunt for pornography.

Buckley could not recall specifics because he trawled through numerous links, and spent seconds on each one, he said.

In his closing statement, Mr Smith said Buckley revisited the same link because he knew exactly what he was looking for — child sex abuse material — and where to find it.

"You’d have to believe he’s the victim of such extraordinarily bad luck to think he’s not guilty," he told the jury in his closing statement.

Though the data provided by Mega showed when Buckley imported and deleted the folders, it did not show if he viewed the videos.

With no other imports since June 2018, and no other objectionable material found on Buckley’s laptop by the police, Mr Stephenson asked the jury why.

"Did he just acquire a taste for child sex abuse material for that week in June? ... Wouldn’t you expect someone who has that taste to leave more of a footprint?"

Both the Crown and the defence acknowledged Buckley did import the objectionable material into his account.

However, Mr Smith said Buckley knew what it was when he did so, intentionally took the extra step of importing it when he could have viewed it without an account, did so repeatedly, and voluntarily held it in his account.

"It’s intentional, it’s deliberate."

Mr Stephenson argued Buckley did not know what it was when he imported it, and did not voluntarily hold the material in his account.

It was an unlucky accident for a man who frequently searched for pornographic material.

The trial is expected to conclude on Monday.



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter