A girl abused for online exploitation pornography felt as though the abuse was "never-ending" with the continued viewing, said the Crown as one of five men who accessed objectionable material was sentenced.
They had all been arrested as part of an ongoing operation by the Department of Internal Affairs and other agencies. All were scheduled for sentencing, but four had to be delayed.
Prosecutor Will Taffs said a study showed children used for the production of the imagery grew up with "unresolved anxieties about who had viewed the abuse".
By viewing the material, people were encouraging the primary offenders who were creating the sexual exploitation abuse material, he said.
Comments from one girl identified in the abuse material were read in court, about her feeling that the abuse was "never-ending" with people continuing to be entertained by her shame and pain.
John William Finnerty, 23, was jailed for two years six months for offending that included videos that Judge Gerard Lynch described as "the rape of very young girls". Finnerty had admitted two charges of possessing objectionable publications.
Defence counsel Tim Twomey said Finnerty was a loner, and socially awkward, and "sought refuge" in viewing objectionable publications. He said he had co-operated with the authorities once he was caught, had not sought name suppression, and had begun a rehabilitation course.
Taffs said it was "an extremely serious example of this type of offending", including some of the worst child exploitation material. Finnerty was found with 18,295 objectionable images, and another 87,000 images that had not been reviewed. He had 365 files which contained extreme contents. The images had been accessed over 21 months, using a special, anonymous internet browser which allowed access to parts of the internet where this material could be found.
Judge Lynch said some of the material accessed by Finnerty showed graphic sexual abuse of girls aged from new-born to 3 years old.
He told him: "Real children on the other end of the camera are being brutalised."
Tim Houston, Manager of the DIA Digital Child Exploitation Team, said he welcomed the guilty plea.
"People who consume and distribute child sexual exploitation and abuse imagery are committing crimes punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment in New Zealand. There is a public interest in holding offenders to account, to protect the community and deter others from engaging in similar crimes".
"People who deal in this material re-victimize the children who are involved in what is often the worst moments of their lives. This material depicts a crime scene,' he said.
In four other cases, sentencing was adjourned to further dates - in one case so it could be dealt with by another judge who had earlier sentenced the same man. That man has interim name suppression.
In two cases, sentencing was adjourned to April 22 so that more written information could be provided to the sentencing judge about the nature of the images.