A New Zealander, employed by a France-based photographer to search the internet for copyright breaches of artwork depicting naked young women, has been fined $6000 for importing child pornography.
Glenn Roderick Holland, aged 56, was yesterday sentenced in the Auckland District Court on one charge of importing prohibited goods, after his luggage was searched by New Zealand customs officials in 1996 and a computer disk containing nearly 3000 pornographic images was found.
Holland told officials that he worked for a French photographer, David Hamilton, whose photographs often depicted naked young women.
After designing a David Hamilton website in 1996, Holland, who was also a photographer, would then regularly search the internet for copyright breaches and try to close other offending websites. It was during this process that Holland claimed pictures of young children engaged in sexual acts came to be downloaded on his computer's hard drive.
Crown prosecutor Mike Ruffin told Judge Robert Kerr that Holland travelled to Sydney to visit his lawyer in December 1996 and downloaded his entire hard drive, including the pictures, on to a computer disk to take to the meeting.
Upon his return to New Zealand, Holland was caught with the offending images, which he claimed were on the disk only because he had not had time to search them for possible breaches of copyright.
However, Judge Kerr yesterday told Holland that David Hamilton photos, while containing nude young women, were artistic.
"When those photos are compared to the images you have downloaded it is hard to see any similarity."
Judge Kerr described the images as "grossly disgusting, objectionable and pornographic ... [which] could only appeal to a pervert."
Holland's e-mail correspondence, which was produced as evidence, showed him thanking people for the "naughty photos" they had sent him and telling others that he had "virtually downloaded every photo on the net that any of us would wish to own."
Judge Kerr said Holland must have known what images were on the disk when he travelled to Sydney, and that, aside from his guilty plea, he had shown no remorse. Holland, who paid his $6000 fine yesterday, is expected to return to Germany, where he now lives with his wife.