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A man who tried to buy a child on the dark web to sexually abuse, under the username Kiwipedo, and possessed more than 400 objectionable images has been jailed.
This morning, Aaron Hutton was sentenced to five years' imprisonment by Judge Allan Roberts.
Hutton pleaded guilty to two charges after the Crown had offered evidence in his Auckland District Court trial last year.
The admitted lead charge was that between January 13, 2015, and February 20, 2015, he had attempted to enter into a deal involving a person under 18 for sexual exploitation.
Hutton had in fact been speaking to undercover law enforcement and a meeting never eventuated.
Investigators used a tracing tool to find the relevant computer in an Auckland workplace in mid-2015, where they executed a search warrant.
Crown prosecutor Sam McMullan said after the guilty pleas were entered Hutton seemed to claim it was all some sort of joke.
Hutton claimed he knew he was dealing with law enforcement in "a game of cat and mouse" but that was "not born out on the evidence".
Rather the defendant was simply trying to distance himself "from the very serious offending he committed".
McMullan said three aggravating features of the case was the premeditation, the vulnerability of the intended victim and the extent of offending he intended to commit.
The Crown prosecutor said descriptions of the objection material made for "difficult reading".
Hutton pleaded guilty during the trial therefore he was simply not entitled to a discount, McMullan said.
"The Crown's case was looking pretty good at that point," he said.
Judge Roberts presided over for just over three days.
"I was having difficulty identifying what possible defence you could advance," the judge said.
"You were entitled to take the matter to trial and you did."
The judge's point he said was this: "The plea came at a very late stage."
Judge Roberts addressed Hutton's claim that he aimed to waste police time and was never going to commit a crime.
"I can only say all of these self-serving statements are nonsense."
The judge said Hutton intended to buy a child and literally detain her for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
"Your intended victim was three. She was to become a sex slave."