Pensioner sentenced for having child porn

A pensioner caught with more than 1800 files of objectionable material involving children has been sentenced to five months’ home detention.

However, the 75-year-old will not have his name included on the child sex offender register.

In the Invercargill District Court, Judge Russell Walker said the sentence was because the man did not "pose a direct risk" due to his age, and because he had not previously appeared before the courts.

The Southland man — who was granted final name suppression — was sentenced on six charges of possessing an objectionable publication with knowledge.

The summary of facts stated that in June 2018, the offender shared four video files on a sharing network which offered "large numbers of digital child abuse images, movies and text documents".

On August 22, 2018, police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s address and seized a number of electrical items including a computer and multiple hard drives.

A total of 86,240 video and image files were located by the police digital forensics unit and a victim identification investigator from the police Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand team, but only 25% of the files were analysed.

"1928 video and image files were categorised as obejctionable with a further 590 files construed as age difficult, meaning the age of the person in the file was unable to be determined to be underage."

About 1890 of the files related specifically to objectionable material involving children, the document stated.

When police spoke to the defendant, he admitted having child exploitation images stored on his devices, but denied any knowledge of sharing the files.

"In his explanation, he stated they were his own personal gratification."

Yesterday, defence counsel Tanya McCullum asked for final name suppression because the man had "significant health issues".

While he said the offending was very serious, Judge Walker agreed to do so because publication of the offender’s name would be a "serious hardship" to his health.

He sentenced the man to five months’ home detention and ordered the destruction of all seized devices.

Judge Walker also imposed conditions on the man’s detention and post-detention period, including that he must not possess any electronic device which can access the internet.

The man also must not communicate or associate with any person under 16 years old and will need to complete any treatment suggested by probation officers.

 

 

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