A judge declined home detention for a Dargaville man, who admitted viewing child pornography, and sent him to prison for 15 months.
Quinten Ottewill appeared for sentencing in Dargaville District Court on 20 charges of possessing objectionable materials after about 960 objectionable files were recovered from electronic items seized from his home.
Judge Greg Davis said Ottewill indicated that he started to download child sex abuse files to see if it was possible and then it went out of control.
Judge Davis said to describe the viewing of objectionable materials as a victimless crime was "erroneous thinking".
"One of the reasons that these images exist is because people like you choose to get on to the internet and to search them out," Judge Davis said.
Crown prosecutor Moana Jarman-Taylor submitted a starting point of imprisonment was appropriate and that an end term of less than two years could be arrived at.
The gravity of his offending warranted a prison term rather than home detention, she said.
Ottewill's lawyer Tracy Donald accepted an end sentence of less than two years and favoured home detention for a number of reasons.
These included the fact that her client was working and had taken steps to address his addiction.
A first offender, he attended three sessions with a psychologist in Auckland, but could not complete them because of financial constraints.
Judge Davis said Ottewill was described in the pre-sentence report as having little or no insight into his offending or possessing a self-absorbed view such as being petrified about going to jail.
Despite arriving at an end sentence of 15 months, the judge declined home detention because his offending was simply too serious. "Because of the serious nature of the offending and in particular the need to hold you accountable and to denounce and deter offending of this nature and to protect the community that a sentence of imprisonment is inevitable."
Judge Davis ordered the destruction of images, computer and electronic equipment seized from his Tirarau St home in Dargaville.
The charges were brought by the Department of Internal Affairs, whose Censorship Compliance Unit manager Steve O'Brien said the department is part of the global fight combating the sexual abuse of children for the manufacture and distribution of objectionable images. He said people could still be traced, even if they only looked at the images on an internet site.