Two-time child pornography offender faces jail

Home detention has been ruled out for a two-time child abuse pornography offender who has now been found with another 29,380 images.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll declined to order a home detention assessment for Corey Andrew Challis, a 34-year-old labourer from Wainoni, who admitted two charges yesterday.

That means he faces jail time, nine years after he received a community work and supervision sentence for similar offending.

After he pleaded guilty to six child pornography charges in 2009, he was kicked in the shin and verbally abused by someone who had been sitting in the public gallery.

Judge O’Driscoll remanded Challis on bail for sentencing on August 8. Department of Internal Affairs prosecutor Heather McKenzie said the department did not oppose bail pending sentencing.

Defence counsel Kerry Cook said that during the remand, Challis would continue to undergo psychological counselling to progress his rehabilitation, at his own expense. “There is a strong public interest in him continuing to do so.”

The court was told that between October 2016 and March 2017, Challis acquired and stored images and video-clip files depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of young girls on a laptop computer that he used for work. He also copied files to a portable hard disk drive, from the laptop and from an older computer he had at home.

The files listed in the charges were on the laptop, and on the external hard drive.

Over 11,000 files depicted the sexual exploitation of girls as young as five, over 450 video clip files were found showing girls as young as eight undressing and performing sexual acts.

When he was interviewed, Challis admitted the offending. He said he searched for child sexual exploitation material online and would download it for his own sexual gratification. He agreed that he engaged in sexual fantasy involving young girls. He said he had been viewing material featuring young girls for at least five years.

He agreed that his viewing of sexual material involving young girls was exploitative, but then qualified this by saying, “If I wasn’t there it would be happening anyway”.

The department said he co-operated with the investigation and gave an honest account of his online activities. The department made a referral to the STOP programme for sexual offenders for him.

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