Convicted man strives to keep name secret

By Jimmy Ellingham

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A former professional at an Auckland firm is battling to keep his name secret after being sentenced for possessing and exporting objectionable images of children.

The man's lawyer Guyon Foley applied for a permanent name suppression order, but this was turned down today by Judge Eddie Paul in the Auckland District Court.

"The public are entitled to know what this man has been doing on a computer, on the internet, in his home," the judge said when he sentenced the man to 10 months' home detention.

"Prohibiting publication, in my view, would do a major disservice to the children this man abused by viewing their images."

Judge Paul said others who offended in such a way might think they could "hide behind a clock of secrecy" if the middle-aged man's name stayed secret.

However, Mr Foley said his client wished to challenge the judge's decision and Judge Paul gave him until Monday afternoon to file an appeal or the suppression would lapse.

Customs prosecutor Pravina Singh opposed the granting of suppression.

The man is married with young children and Judge Paul said it was inexplicable that a father would look at and trade images like those the man was found with.

"[They] are gross and extreme."

He was caught out by an Australian police undercover sting. An officer using a pseudonym chatted to the man in chat rooms and he sent the officer two images.

Last year searches of the man's house uncovered 23 more images. He promptly pleaded guilty to two charges each of exporting and possessing objectionable material and sought counselling.

"This man has essentially lost his bearings it would seem and clocked his way into trouble. That's not an excuse, that's an explanation," Mr Foley said.

Judge Paul ruled that the man cannot serve his home detention at his own property because his children live there. Instead he will serve the sentence with his parents-in-law.

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