A 44-year-old man who sent naked selfies to girls on social media has had his name suppressed to protect his wife and children.
The South Canterbury man, who appeared by audiovisual link from the Timaru District Court, was sentenced to six months' home detention yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of exposing children to indecent material.
Judge Kevin Phillips clarified why suppression had been imposed.
"It's not for your benefit at all but for the benefit of your wife and two young children living in a small community ... I don't wish your sins to be visited upon them," he said.
The court heard the defendant began messaging a 12-year-old girl on Instagram in May last year.
"You groomed her, in a way," the judge said.
The man sent her photos of himself and asked for images of her in return.
Over the course of a couple of weeks, his depraved intentions took shape.
The defendant called the victim "cute" and asked if she wanted to ride in his truck.
She immediately blocked the man's social-media account and informed her parents.
That led to police involvement in the form of a "sting operation", Judge Phillips said.
An undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl engaged with the defendant on Instagram and their conversations took a similar course to that of his previous victim.
Over four months, the man sent hundreds of messages, videos and photos, the court heard.
Among them were: 43 requests for photos, 13 requests for sex or specific sex acts, 12 photos of his own genitalia, two naked selfies and five videos of him pleasuring himself.
The defendant told the undercover officer he loved her and wanted to meet her.
"When the sting was sprung, your reaction was appalling," the judge said.
The man said he did not see any problem with the communication and that the girls could have blocked him whenever they had wanted.
Counsel Codi Lilley said her client now accepted his actions were inappropriate and potentially harmful.
He was "completely embarrassed" by the offending and was worried about putting his family through such an ordeal.
The defendant spent 10 months on bail at his home, with his wife and children, and initially Probation agreed it was a suitable place to serve home detention.
However, an "environmental scan" of the property later raised red flags.
The house was isolated and they were uncomfortable the defendant would be serving his sentence with two minors.
Prosecutor Sergeant Ian Howard accepted the man had spent time at the home since being charged without further offending but questioned its suitability.
"Would I let my daughter go there and have a sleepover? No, I wouldn't," he said.
Judge Phillips said rehabilitation had to be the focus and imprisonment was a step too far for a first offender.
The defendant did not object to being placed on the Child Sex Offender Register.
While serving his sentence he was banned from using an internet-capable device or associating with under-16s without supervision.