Child porn offender jailed after stopping outside school

An internet child sex abuse pornography offender who stopped his car outside a Christchurch primary school while serving home detention has been jailed for 26 months.

The 49-year-old father said he stopped to make phone calls and did not realise he was outside the school for six minutes, but he pleaded guilty to the breach of home detention.

The breach, and the Community Probation Service’s report that he was aggressive and hostile towards probation officers, triggered a review of his original sentencing in January in the Christchurch District Court.

The stop outside the school happened only about six weeks after the start of his year on home detention.

At his resentencing this week, Judge Jane Farish said he had been “overwhelmed” by the restrictions imposed on home detention. “I don’t think you are a person who is suitable for a sentence of home detention,” she explained to him.

Name suppression was granted at his sentencing in January, because of his family, and Judge Farish continued that order at the resentencing.

He had admitted trading in child sex abuse videos involving 45 individual child victims, who had not been identified. He had admitted using a peer-to-peer file sharing system which meant the files on his computer could be accessed by others and this had happened 16 times.

She said stopping to make phone calls while on an approved absence on home detention was a breach. She did not “read anything more” into the stop being outside a primary school.

When confronted about making the calls, he would not disclose the details and refused to hand over his cellphone. He originally pleaded not guilty to the breach charge and only admitted the offence shortly before trial.

The man had not been able to cope with the sentence of home detention, the judge said. He had sometimes drunk to excess when he felt overwhelmed emotionally and his medication had interacted with the amount of alcohol he was drinking.

He had been trying to eke out a modest living on work that was allowed while on home detention. The breach happened while he travelled between his workplace and home, when he was not permitted the make any stops.

Judge Farish imposed 26 months’ jail, which means he will be eligible to be considered by the Parole Board within a few weeks, because of the seven months he has spent in custody on remand since the breach.

He has already taken steps for his treatment. He may be able to attend a short Kia Marama rehabilitation programme in prison but because of his pornography addiction issues, a more intensive programme was likely to be required, she said.

He now faces registration as a child sex offender which will impose reporting requirements and employment restrictions for eight years.

Judge Farish told him: “Once you have successfully completed a Stop programme, or other rehabilitation programme, you might be able to see that as being part of a risk management plan.”

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