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Eight jail terms for child porn not enough

Media Statement For immediate release Thursday, 15 January, 2004

Dunne: Eight jail terms for child porn not enough

The fact that only eight of 26 people convicted of child pornography offences in New Zealand last year were jailed indicates that the full seriousness of such crimes is not being reflected by the judiciary, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"I think we need to stop and think: each one of those cases only ever occurred on the basis that somewhere a child was abused for the perverted pleasure of an adult.

"When our courts find a New Zealander guilty of being the end-user; of being part of the reason this sick industry exists, then I hardly think that eight jail terms for 26 convictions adequately reflects the true evil of this crime.

"When children are abused, there is no such thing as minor offending.

"And the reality is that child porn only exists because of the demand created by the end-user. Handing out fines and confiscating computers is not a punishment that fits the crime. Jail time is."

Mr Dunne said Government proposals increasing the maximum penalty for trading child pornography to 10 years in prison announced last year were an important step in the right direction.

"That's the top end of the scale, But a mere eight jail terms for 26 convictions tells me we should be looking at the starting point," he said.

Ends.

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