Jail time for Auckland man who distributed child sexual abuse images and video

Robert Stuart Smith was sent to jail for two years and nine months. Photo / File
Robert Stuart Smith was sent to jail for two years and nine months. Photo / File

An Auckland man has been jailed for emailing more than 42,000 files that involved the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Robert Stuart Smith, 25, was sent to jail for two years and nine months on September 14.

The Henderson man had sent almost a thousand objectionable pictures and videos to 121 people.

A Department of Internal Affairs spokesperson said a forensic examination of his computer and an online account revealed that he possessed over 3565 unique image and video files depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Waitakere District Court Judge Robert Ronayne said the case involved "real victims, real children". The images of babies, toddlers and children up to pre-teen he had been shown in preparation for sentencing were distressing.

Ronayne started the sentencing with four and a half years jail time. He then reduced the jail time when he took into account Smith's guilty plea, family support, youth, co-operation and "questionable" attempts at rehabilitation.

Ronayne considered Smith a recidivist offender as he had previously admitted similar offending but had failed to complete a SAFE treatment programme.

Internal Affairs' censorship compliance manager Stephen Waugh said finding Smith was another example of law enforcement cooperating with industry to detect and prevent child abuse.

He said the United States-based online provider detected Smith distributing known child sexual abuse images. This sent a report to the United States' National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children which was referred to DIA in New Zealand.

"This case is another example of how this type of offending is very much international and requires a cohesive response from all organisations involved. It also shows that it's only a matter of time before those who deal in this material get caught."

- NZ Herald

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