Northland man Paul Burton made himself a key character in a story he wrote about the abduction, rape and trafficking of a young girl before he shared the horrific narrative on social media.

Police said Burton also had more than 39,000 images stored on two cellphones, a tablet and external hard drives, showing children, mainly girls, engaged in sexual acts with men.

The details were revealed in Whangārei District Court this week when the 62-year-old man, formerly of Waipū, appeared for sentencing having pleaded guilty to charges of making an objectionable publication, distributing an objectionable publication and six representative charges of possessing objectionable material involving child sexual abuse.

Judge Keith de Ridder sentenced Burton to three years and nine months jail.

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The court heard how Burton had written a story about the abduction, rape, sexual violation of a young female of primary school age. The story culminated in the trafficking of the girl to a gang for exploitation in the child sex trade.

The graphic story described how Burton and two other men were involved.

Burton then shared the story on Facebook but claimed to have messaged it to the wrong person.

However, he made the comment to the recipient: "This is the type of story I sell online and there is some demand."

Following a tip, police searched Burton's home and seized a number of items that were forensically examined and more than 39,000 photos involving abuse of babies through to older children were discovered.

Burton disputed the number of images, saying there were a number of duplications and he only had a few thousand images.

Defence lawyer Jarred Scott said Burton's attraction to people of a vastly different age was a mental health issue he had suffered for a very long time.

He had acknowledged his problem and had sought counselling and had attended three sessions before he was arrested by police. Burton intended to continue seeking help for his issue while in jail and on his release.

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Judge de Ridder said after reading a mental health report and another from ACC there was a clear link between Burton's troubled childhood and his current behaviour and offending.

"Your childhood was extremely marred by abuse that has stayed with you for the rest of your life," Judge de Ridder said.

Burton asked for two memory sticks and a memory card from a camera, that were seized during the police raid on his Waipū property, to be returned to him as they had personal photos on them he wanted to keep. And if police could not return the devices he asked if the photos could be printed and given to him.

Judge de Ridder declined the request and ordered the equipment seized by police be destroyed as was requested by Crown lawyer Mike Smith.

According to his lawyer, Burton, on being released from jail would have strong community support which included the support of his church, which had been accepting of him.