A man who indecently assaulted a girl and possessed child pornography blames family members for his offending.

Dane Leonard appeared in the Whangarei District Court last week charged with possessing objectionable material and two charges of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 12.

In April the 28-year-old was given a sentencing indication of two years in jail or under.

The only issue to be decided at last week's sentencing was Leonard's suitability for home detention.

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Judge Greg Davis said Leonard had exploited a child - a most vulnerable member of society - and was unsuitable for home detention.

It was a concern that, in a probation report, Leonard shifted blame for his offending to two family members, the judge said.

He sentenced Leonard to 18 months in jail for indecent assault and a cumulative term of three months for possessing objectionable material.

The Crown had submitted that jail was the only outcome, given Leonard's lack of remorse and his justification for his offending.

Defence lawyer Julie Young advocated a non-custodial sentence, saying Leonard was vulnerable in terms of his isolation and difficulty with social matters.

The court should consider Leonard's remorse, his good family support and the fact he wasn't a recidivist offender, she submitted.

Judge Davis said Leonard had touched a girl and she told him to stop before crying and leaving the room. On another occasion, Leonard had grabbed the girl by her buttocks.

Leonard had offered no explanation for his actions.

He had been charged with possessing objectionable material after police found a 32-minute DVD while reviewing a computer he used.

The DVD contained graphic images of two girls aged about nine and 10.

Judge Davis said such objectionable material would not be created if there was no demand for it. He ordered the destruction of the DVD.