The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

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Child pornography trader who boasted about hiding on the Internet was convicted today


A Palmerston North man boasted that he could hide his child pornography trading on the Internet, conceal files and avoid detection.

What the man did not realise was that he was boasting to a Department of Internal Affairs Inspector who was monitoring the Internet child pornography channel that they were communicating through.

Today, the Palmerston North District Court convicted him on 11 charges of trading child pornography, fined him $6,000 dollars, ordered him to do 300 hours community work and ordered forfeiture and destruction of his computer and all material seized.

The General Manager of the Departments Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the Department has a unit dedicated to combating Internet child pornography, and it will find New Zealanders who are trading such material.

In this case, the man was hiding his true identity and address behind a computer operating in the United States.

Last month, a Paeroa man was convicted after information was shared between the Department and German police. In December, an Auckland man was jailed for running the websites at the centre of an international child pornography ring.

“This was the 13th conviction in New Zealand in the last 12 months and the 104th since the unit was set up in 1996,” Mr Manch said.

“The offenders have been from all over the country – rural areas, towns, cities – and they have often been trying to hide behind websites and computers all over the world.

“International co-operation is key, and in the last year we have worked with Australian, United States, Canadian, British, German, Norwegian and Swedish enforcement agencies, and with Interpol.

“Eventually, we find the New Zealanders trading child pornography and take action against them.”

In this case, the man was operating under the nickname “Brigadeer” in a channel dedicated solely to trading sexually explicit pictures and movies of children. He had also accessed child pornography newsgroups, had downloaded material from them and had distributed it.

In September 2001 he sent the Department Inspector a series of pictures of a
six-year-old-girl in sexually explicit poses and carrying out sexual acts.

Mr Manch said that these pictures highlight the myth that child pornography is ‘only looking at pictures’.

“A six-year-old girl was degraded and abused to create these pictures. That was done for the ‘pleasure’ of this man and other collectors and traders. These men create a market that encourages the abuse of children.

“This law is not about ‘looking at pictures’, it is about protecting children.”

After boasting to the Inspector and sending him the pictures of the young girl, “Brigadeer” was tracked through the Internet to a Palmerston North address, and identified.

In December 2001 a search warrant was executed on his house. His computer, CD ROMs and floppy disks were seized and taken for forensic analysis. They showed a history of his Internet activity and contained further objectionable images of children.

He at first denied any offending, but after being shown written copies of his conversation with the Inspector he admitted that it was him.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to 11 breaches of the Films Videos and Publications Classification Act, which prohibits child pornography.

Media contact:

Keith Manch
General Manager Gaming and Censorship Regulation Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420

Vincent Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 025 272 4270