The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Jail term for child sex abuse image collection


An international operation involving the United States’ FBI and the Department of Internal Affairs has resulted in a 31-year-old Christchurch man being jailed on 26 charges involving child sex abuse pictures.

Judge John Bisphan, in the Christchurch District Court yesterday, sentenced an electronics assembler, to two years and three months in prison after convicting him on two charges of making, five of distributing and 19 of possessing objectionable publications.

Judge Bisphan said the offences were serious because of their nature and the number of images Internal Affairs found on the man’s computer, DVDs and CDs --some 16,000 objectionable files and over 700 objectionable video clip files depicting toddlers and very young boys being sexually abused.

“What you did could be regarded as passive offending, but it condones the abuse the children suffer,” Judge Bisphan said. “People who look at this, pass it on and use it, encourage those who actually photograph the children. That is the evil that sentencing must address.”

The judge’s sentence starting point was 3 to 3½ years imprisonment but mitigating factors were that the offender had no previous convictions, he came from a good family who supported him, he had attended counselling, and the delay between the search warrant and charges being laid must have been very hard for him.

Internal Affairs Deputy Secretary, Keith Manch, said the FBI told the Department a New Zealander had been identified as subscribing to a website dealing in child sexual exploitation material.
“We were given a name, credit card number and e-mail address, which led us to the offender,” Keith Manch said. “The information was gathered as part of an international operation dealing with web-based users of child sex abuse material.

“This is a further example of the international effort that takes place to combat this trade. It must stand as a warning to other offenders that it is only a matter of time before they get caught.”

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