Man admits importing child porn

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The Napier Courthouse, where a man yesterday pleaded guilty to importing and exporting child pornography.
The Napier Courthouse, where a man yesterday pleaded guilty to importing and exporting child pornography.

A man who says he traded his smoking habit for an addiction to child pornography has pleaded guilty after being charged for taking the footage in and out of the country.

The man, who has interim name suppression, appeared before Judge Bridget Mackintosh yesterday in Napier District Court where he admitted eight representative charges of importing and exporting objectionable publications.

He also faces two more charges relating to events on January 27, at Hastings, where he made an intimate visual recording of another person.

New Zealand Customs Service brought the charges against the man after discovering the footage with him at Auckland International Airport after he had returned from a Fiji trip at the end of last month.

According to the Customs summary of facts, the 41-year-old had downloaded the footage before leaving for Fiji on January 25 and returned again five days later.

When he arrived at Auckland International Airport, New Zealand Customs, who have brought the charges against the man, searched his luggage.

An Apple iPad mini and an Apple iPod touch 4 were examined where they discovered in "plain view" images and video files showing the sexual abuse of children. The summary of facts said that included videos of children and adults dressing and undressing in the same changing room. Video and image titles stated the young ages of the featured people which sparked further suspicion and a Customs forensic investigator was called in.

The facts state that in total, 56 movies, videos and images of sexual child abuse were found between the two devices.

During an interview with authorities at the airport the defendant confirmed he owned both devices and it was only him who used them.

He said he was aware of the illegal publications and said he had "addiction to the publications for the last four years and recently when he gave up smoking he had more of an interest to replace his smoking habit".

In the interview he said he "fantasies over the publications".

The defendant did not declare the publications on his New Zealand passenger arrival card, nor did he when he was taken to the Customs search area and was presented with a declaration form.

It is illegal under section 54 and section 56 of the Customs and Excise Act 1996 to export and import objectionable publications.

The maximum penalty for that type of offence is three years'imprisonment.

The man's lawyer, Eric Forster, sought a pre-sentence report and his client was remanded on bail until April 5.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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