The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Another jailing for objectionable images

29 May 2009

An online chat session with an under-cover Australian federal policeman led to a 31-year-old Christchurch retail salesman being jailed for 22 months today on charges involving child sexual abuse images.

The Lyttelton man had earlier pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court to 22 charges of distributing and possessing objectionable publications. Judge Brian Callaghan said home detention was inappropriate for this kind of offending.

Internal Affairs Deputy Secretary, Keith Manch, said that during the chat session the man sent the policeman a video clip and over 40 image files, all depicting the sexual abuse of children, including babies and toddlers.

“During the conversation he identified himself as Ben from Canterbury and described the sexual grooming and abuse of a young girl he was godfather to,” Keith Manch said. “Our police referred the case to the Department after no evidence of sexual offending was found. An examination of his computer revealed a large number of deleted objectionable files, including a significant number depicting the gross sexual abuse of babies and toddlers.

“This case shows how agencies work together to catch offenders. And deleting images from one’s computer won’t protect offenders when our inspectors come visiting with a search warrant.”

The man is the fifth person to be jailed for such offences in the past two months.

Media contact:
Keith Manch, Deputy Secretary, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 9329; cell 021 227 6363
Trevor Henry, communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679