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Children's advocates are "appalled'' after pictures of a young Auckland boy killed by his parents were posted on a pornographic site featuring beheadings, impalement and necrophilia.
Ngatikaura Ngati died in 2006 after horrific abuse by his parents, who were convicted of his manslaughter. Pictures of his body were controversially released by the trial judge in 2007 to publicise the harm caused by child abuse.
In February this year, the pictures were posted on a website that contains pornography and graphic images of violent deaths.
Victims' rights campaigner Rachael Ford, who came across the images this week while researching the case of Ngatikaura Ngati, said the site was disturbing.
The website, which APNZ has decided not to name, claims to be "educational'' and to "wake people up to the reality'' of violence.
However, it contains pictures of necrophilia and naked women being impaled, and comments by readers make it clear they find the material sexually arousing.
The pictures of Ngatikaura Ngati were published next to explicit images of hardcore pornography.
The website, which is based overseas, also runs caption competitions encouraging readers to make fun of people who have died violent deaths.
Ms Ford, part of a group called Breaking the Silence, came across the images while doing research for a submission on the Government's child abuse green paper.
The images have also been found on second "reality'' website.
When the images were released in 2007, then Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro attacked the move, warning that once the images were placed on the internet, there was no way of controlling who saw them or how they were used.
Dr Kiro also said it was abhorrent that the pictures were then circulated in an email petition calling for tougher action on child abuse.
"Circulating them allows for further abuse in death of a child who was abused in life. It is abhorrent to have them circulated in this way.''
Current Children's Commissioner Russell Wills was not available for interview but in a statement said he was "appalled to learn that images of Ngatikaura Ngati have been used on this website''.
He had referred the matter to the Department of Internal Affairs and police, and would continue to monitor the issue.
At the time the pictures were released, Inspector Richard Middleton, who led the police's case against Ngatikaura Ngati's parents, said publishing the photos could have a positive effect and help prevent further child abuse.
This week he stood by his view, saying the pictures had ensured that the case "gained significant media attention and illustrated the terrible consequences of such offending''.
He admitted it was unfortunate there was no control over how the images were used but insisted they were "an important contribution to the public debate on child abuse at that time, which led to the heightened awareness we have today''.