WARNING: This article deals with sexual assault and sexually explicit images and may be upsetting.
Despite being subject to a strict court order due to multiple sexual and objectionable publication convictions, Gideon Tobias Christian managed to manipulate someone to film the genitals of another person and send it to him.
Heavy suppression orders surround the case except for the offender himself, Christian, who spent his 36th birthday yesterday finding out if he would receive one of the heaviest sentences a court can issue - preventive detention.
Justice Tracey Walker accepted defence counsel Jessica Tarrant’s submissions not to jail Christian indefinitely.
He will instead have to serve two-thirds of his seven-year and nine-month jail term - the highest minimum non-parole period available to a judge.
All of Christian’s conviction history involves sexual offending of some sort; including sexual assault and possessing objectionable publications.
He was first jailed in 2014 for two years and 10 months. He was convicted for possessing objectionable publications again in 2016, and of similar offending that resulted in him being jailed again in 2021.
In May 2022, he was given a four-year extended supervision order [ESO].
An ESO is designed to protect members of the community from those who, after being released from jail, still posed a “real and ongoing risk of committing serious sexual or violent offences”.
Christian had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, possessing objectionable publications, and two charges of breaching an extended supervision order and appeared in the High Court at Hamilton for sentencing on Monday.
Those charges related to the police discovery of nine electronic devices at Christian’s Waikato home during a search warrant. He was then arrested and charged in March this year.
Three were found to contain up to 272 objectionable publications which were downloaded between February 20 and 27, 2019.
Twenty-four of those images were deemed to be in the most serious category, A.
Crown prosecutor Rebecca Mann sought preventive detention - an indeterminant prison term - used to protect the community from someone deemed an ongoing risk to the public’s safety.
She said Christian had shown a disregard for his ESO, by not only breaking the rules but engaging in “very serious sexual violation”.
A forensic psychiatrist’s report showed he not only minimised his behaviour but blamed others for it.
Tarrant accepted a minimum period of imprisonment of between 50 and 66 per cent was appropriate, along with a ban on firearm possession, but he was yet to serve a long prison term and therefore hadn’t been given a chance to benefit from rehabilitation programmes in jail.
His ESO and child sex offender registration would also continue once he was released.
Justice Walker noted the escalation in his offending with the use of video, previously it was pictures, and getting someone to make the offending video for him.
While she found his offending “abhorrent” it was “sadly not in the most serious category”.
His ESO breaches were serious but not directly connected to his offending while there were “some particularly nasty aspects” to the objectionable publications he was found with.
“It’s apparent in at least two that the children are physically hurt. They are re-victimised each time their abuse is viewed.” Christan kept using alcohol as an excuse for reoffending and admitting having a “fetish” for the material, but overall Justice Walker said there were “few positive aspects in your pre-sentence report”.
As for preventive detention, she said that was “future focused” and up to her to decide on if he committed another sexual offence once released on parole.
Although the judge found he sat “on the cusp” of qualifying for preventive detention, she gave him the benefit of the doubt because he had not served a lengthy prison term.
Belinda Feek is an Open Justice reporter based in Waikato. She has worked at NZME for eight years and been a journalist for 19.