Computer Crime Research Center


Christchurch man caught in child porn sting

Date: March 04, 2008

A Christchurch man caught in an international police sting against makers and users of child pornography pleaded guilty today to 19 representative charges under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act.

The 51 year old, who has interim suppression of his name and occupation, was detected in a police investigation dubbed Operation Hydra, Christchurch District Court was told today.

He admitted 13 charges of possessing objectionable publications and six of making or copying objectionable publications.

Austrian police investigating internet sites depicting objectionable material discovered that the Christchurch man's computer accessed part of a series of objectionable images on January 15 last year.

Police prosecutor Nigel Wolland said the defendant's Telecom internet account number was identified and a search warrant was executed at his suburban Papanui home on January 22.

Two personal laptop computers were seized for analysis by the New Zealand police electronic crime laboratory.

Mr Wolland said one computer held 116 still or video images of children as young as seven in sexual positions or acts.

Fifty-one of those images had been deleted, but were retrieved from the computer's "recycle bin", and the remaining images had been saved in three folders within the computer's hard drive.

Mr Wolland said an examination of the second computer showed "hundreds" of objectionable images had been deleted from the hard drive. All portrayed pre-teen girls and teenagers engaged in sexual acts or poses.

Of hundreds of computer disks seized from the man's address, 51 were found to contain some 3655 objectionable still and video images of young girls in various sexual positions or acts.

Mr Wolland said 29 other disks depicted 144 separate videos indicating the man had selected various video images and saved them on a software presentation programme.

He said the man was "fully co-operative" with police and admitted downloading hundreds of images over some three years.

He told police he knew they were objectionable and that he'd downloaded them from the internet while "surfing" for adult pornography. He'd viewed them and saved them either on his computer or on disks.

The man's lawyer, Tony Garrett, told Judge Noel Walsh his client wasn't involved in distributing the images.

He handed up a letter from a psychiatrist in support of his application for interim suppression orders.

Judge Walsh remanded the man on bail to May 7 for a probation report and sentencing.

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