Warning: Graphic content
A Central Otago sex offender who hoarded a horrifying collection of child-abuse images says he now understands the impact on the victims involved.
Geordy Peter Brian Johnstone, 25, was sentenced to three years, three months' imprisonment on 28 charges of possessing objectionable publications, which amounted to more than 5600 files.
At sentencing, before Judge Emma Smith in the Alexandra District Court last year, it was revealed the offending started less than a month after the man had completed a home detention term for groping a 6-year-old boy.
The judge said Johnstone lacked significant insight into his crimes but the prisoner told the Parole Board at a hearing last month that that had changed.
The Otago Corrections Facility inmate opted not to front up before the board, accepting he was not yet eligible for early release.
Instead, he wrote a letter saying that "he now understands the serious effect on children that his involvement in the possession and distribution of objectionable material has had", board chairman Sir Ron Young said.
Johnstone was scheduled to start the Child Sex Offender Treatment Programme in early 2021 and said he was motivated to do so.
He would next see the Parole Board in November 2021.
Among the files amassed by Johnstone over 14 months were photos of young girls being violated and subjected to bestiality, as well as young boys being abused and kept in a cage, the court heard at sentencing.
Most of the images found on the man's computers fell into "category A", the judge said, the highest end of the scale.
Many of the victims were aged between 2 and 14 years, but one image was of a 6-month-old baby.
A report before the court said Johnstone realised he needed to stay away from children, because sometimes when he saw them in the community he had flashes of them "in a sexual manner".
His offending was discovered when New Zealand police received a referral from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about the user of an instant messaging app.
Johnstone's profile picture on the site depicted child sexual abuse.
His sentence will end in November 2022.
SEXUAL HARM - DO YOU NEED HELP?
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