A judge has reduced the jail sentence for a 22-year-old charged with arranging the sexual abuse of a toddler because of his claim of longstanding abuse by a male relative.
Matthew Garland Kelly, 22, of Halswell, was jailed for five years by Judge Paul Kellar in the Christchurch District Court. The judge said his behaviour had been “reprehensible”.
But he said he would take into account Kelly’s claim that the offending had not occurred in isolation and a factor could be abuse he suffered over a long period at the hands of a relative.
He reduced Kelly’s sentence by a year for his youth, another year for his previous good character – he has no previous convictions – and two years for the abuse he claimed to have suffered as a child and young man.
Judge Kellar said Kelly had procured a woman to commit the sexual violation by oral sex on a boy aged 15 months and send him video of the act.
The hearing began with submissions relating to a defence application for a new name suppression order, on the grounds that it would cause extreme hardship.
Defence counsel Andrew Bailey said the woman involved in the offending against the child had been granted home detention but had asked for a prison sentence instead for safety reasons – she had received death threats.
Krystal Harvey, 23, of Auckland, had name suppression, but the order was revoked and then put back in place, and then finally disposed of by the High Court. She admitted charges of sexual violation by unlawful connection and making an objectionable publication and was jailed for three years nine months.
Mr Bailey said publication of in-court photographs taken of Kelly would not help with his rehabilitation, and there was limited public interest in his identification because the offending was online. It could also lead to threats to Kelly’s safety when he was released from prison.
Judge Kellar ruled that name suppression would be refused, and in-court photography would be allowed.
Kelly pleaded guilty in June to 16 charges – five of making an objectionable publication, 10 of possession of an objectionable publication, and one of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.
Mr Bailey argued that Kelly’s culpability was less than Harvey’s because she had carried out the actual violation, and she had sent the video of the act to him.
Kelly paid the woman $300 for the video. Kelly was found in possession of images on his cellphone of women and men in sex acts with naked children, and photographs of naked children. Some charges refer to bestiality images. Kelly had about 70 images he had taken of himself wearing only a nappy. Some charges refer to online conversations Kelly has had about the sex acts he would like to perform on children.