Man admits possessing child abuse images

By Imran Ali -
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File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A Northland man arrested in an international operation targeting an online child sexual abuse network has pleaded guilty to possessing child abuse images.

David Roycroft, 32, admitted seven counts of possessing objectionable material when he appeared in the Whangarei District Court this week.

He was arrested during Operation Hyper, a New Zealand Police and Customs investigation that busted an alleged online child sexual abuse network.

Roycroft was among six alleged offenders in New Zealand and the operation also identified four children who had the potential to be harmed.

Roycroft was remanded in custody for sentencing next month.

Internal Affairs, police and Customs executed warrants simultaneously on Auckland's North Shore and in Levin, while UK police arrested a man in West Yorkshire, a media conference in Auckland was told on Tuesday.

In New Zealand, Customs and police conducted a further search warrant at a Northland home in December and assessed two young children living there.

A spokeswoman for New Zealand Customs said a child protection team was part of the multi-agency operation at the Northland property. "The children were assessed and a referral was made to Child Youth and Family. The assessments showed no evidence of physical abuse. Family members were also made aware of the situation," she said.

The operation began in June last year when a referral by Queensland police led to a search at the central Auckland home of a 41-year-old man.

Information gained as a result of that warrant identified other offenders in New Zealand and the UK.

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