A Tauranga man has been jailed for downloading and sharing child pornography videos described by a judge as "many of the worst kinds of objectionable publications".

David Vernon Parkinson, 58, from Ohauiti, was sentenced to three years and three months in prison by Judge Thomas Ingram in the Tauranga District Court yesterday after earlier pleading guilty to 37 charges.

That included 35 charges for distributing 133 video files containing child exploitation material and two counts of possessing 133 video files, which were found on his computer and another 32 on a USB stick.

The charges relate to offences committed at Parkinson's home late last year, discovered during a police search of his home on December 12.

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When police arrived Parkinson was in the process of uploading the 133 video files and during the search, another 32 full-length video files on a USB stick were discovered.

The majority of these files depicted penetrative sexual activity between adults and children, the court heard.

Crown prosecutor Hayley Sheridan argued that given the materials found and distributed, of which most showed children being violated, home detention was out of the question.

Sheridan submitted that a starting point of seven years' prison was warranted, before allowing discounts for Parkinson's guilty pleas, remorse, and any mitigating factors.

Lawyer Tony Balme argued for a lesser sentence given his client had no prior convictions, the limited period of offending, and Parkinson's "lack of intent" in terms of the distribution charges.

Balme urged Judge Ingram to take into account that Parkinson had not knowingly intended to share the video files he downloaded with other people because it was an automatic feature of the computer software programme used.

He said no one could say with certainty how many people these files had been distributed to.

Judge Ingram agreed he could distinguish Parkinson's offending from those who actively shared these sorts of files with others after logging into chat rooms and the like.

The judge also took into account Parkinson's prior unblemished record, remorse, and the rehabilitative steps he had taken.

But Judge Ingram said given this offending related to possessing and sharing "many of the worst kinds of objectionable publications", a strong deterrent sentence was justified.

"This was premeditated behaviour and I'm satisfied on the [legal] authorities that a sentence of imprisonment and nothing less is appropriate given all the circumstances."