Couple sentenced for photography of naked girl

December 12, 2014 | By More

Court House-general 3A Canterbury man has been jailed and his teenage partner released on home detention for production of child-abuse pornography.

The woman had photographed a pre-teenage girl naked and provided the pictures to her partner, and the man also took pictures, in a case that was described as being difficult for everyone.

The sentencing took place on November 19, with both offenders jailed, but since then there has been a separate hearing at which Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland decided the woman could be allowed to serve an 11-month home detention sentence instead of jail.

Today there was a third hearing, at which he heard submissions and made his decision that the names of the two offenders should be suppressed.

The pair were sentenced after each pleaded guilty to six charges of doing an indecent act on a child aged under 12, and two charges of indecent assault on a child.

Crown prosecutor Clare Boshier told the court the victim was too young to realise what had gone on, but the question was how the experience would affect her in the future when she realised how she had been degraded and taken advantage of.

Miss Boshier said the parents of the woman still had a lot of support for their daughter, and desperately wanted her to come home. It had been an incredibly difficult case for everybody.

Judge Garland described the man as the primary offender and jailed him for 33 months. The teenager , who he described as “young, immature, and naive”, was in tears when she was initially jailed for 22-months with permission to apply for home detention if a suitable address became available.

The teenager took intimate photographs of the victim in a series of sessions, and some of them were found on a USB memory stick in the man’s bedside cabinet. There were many close-up images of the girl’s genitalia. In some of the photographs, the woman’s hands were shown touching the child.

Both of them later took photographs of the child. In total, 519 photographs and two videos were found by police. They also found that the man had carried out Internet searches for child pornography. Text messages found by the police indicated the woman had taken the photographs at the man’s request.

The judge said there was no evidence that the man had distributed any of the photographs that were taken. “But there is circumstantial evidence which might lead one to strongly suspect that he might be going to.”

Judge Garland said he could take the view that the woman was under the influence of the older man.

Miss Boshier told him that the woman did not accept that – “perhaps because she is still ‘on the string’, as it were”.

Tom Stevens, defence counsel for the man, said his client was extremely remorseful and at a loss about why he did not put a stop to the offending from the beginning. He was willing to take any treatment that could be provided.

Bridget Ayrey, counsel for the teenager, said the offending occurred when she was a teenager and was naive and in a relationship with an older man.


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