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S Auckland man fined $20,000 for child sex images

Media Release
1 May 2006

South Auckland man fined $20,000 for possessing child sex abuse images

A 37-year old business owner from South Auckland has been fined $20,000 for possession of child sex abuse images.

Minesh Kumar, of Papatoetoe, pleaded guilty last Friday to 20 representative charges of possession of images showing adults sexually abusing children. Department of Internal Affairs’ Inspectors, following a tip off from German police, found more than 50,000 sexually explicit images on Kumar’s laptop computer. Over 17,000 showed the sexual abuse of children.

In the Manukau District Court, Judge Anna Johns expressed disgust at the nature of Kumar’s offending, telling him she would have sent him to prison if it had been within her power. Kumar faced fines of up to $2,000 per charge, the maximum available under laws at the time he was charged and before penalties were beefed up by Parliament in February 2005.

Stop Demand spokesperson Denise Ritchie, said: “It is heartening to see the Court in this case imposing a hefty penalty, together with a denouncement of such behaviour. Until men like Kumar, who fuel the demand for such images, are sufficiently deterred by penalties, the sexual abuse of children for the global cyberspace market will continue.”

Stop Demand was less impressed, however, with another sentence handed out the same day in Christchurch. In sentencing Gareth William Maherne Thomas, a 23-year old former Christchurch Polytechnic computer course tutor who pleaded guilty to representative charges of possessing and making available objectionable publications involving the sexual abuse of children, Judge Brian Callaghan imposed a mere 140 hours community work, ordered supervision for one year and fined Thomas $500.

“The sentencing disparity between Judges in this country is of concern,” said Denise Ritchie. “Every image represents an act of either sexual exploitation, sexual abuse or rape. Those seeking out such images and making them available to others, play a direct role in the initial acts of abuse, which are committed specifically for the market of men like Thomas. Community work and an insignificant fine of $500 simply do not reflect the impact of abuse on the multiple victims or their right not to have that abuse minimised by Courts in this country or elsewhere.”

ENDS

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