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German tip-off sees Sth Auckland man convicted

Media Release 1 May 2006

German tip-off sees Sth Auckland man convicted

A South Auckland man has been fined $20,000 for possessing images of adults sexually abusing children following a tip-off from German police.

Internal Affairs Department national censorship compliance manager, Steve O’Brien, says the department’s successful prosecution of Minesh Kumar, aged 37, of Papatoetoe, shows how wide the net is spread in tracking down offenders.

And Judge Anna Johns in the Manukau District Court, expressing disgust at the nature of the offending told Kumar, she would have sent him to prison if she had had the power.

Kumar’s offending occurred before February 2005 when Parliament substantially increased penalties for possessing objectionable images from a maximum fine of $2000 for an individual to up to five years’ jail or a fine of up to $50,000.

Kumar pleaded guilty (April 28) to 20 representative charges of possession. When DIA Inspectors seized his laptop computer they found more than 50,000 sexually explicit images, over 35 per cent involving the sexual abuse of children.

Steve O’Brien also welcomed the successful conclusion of a Christchurch case in which a former Christchurch Polytechnic computer tutor admitted representative charges of possessing and making available objectionable publications.

Gareth William Maherne Thomas, 23, a computer course facilitator was sentenced (April 28) to 140 hours community work, placed on a year’s supervision and fined $500.

Judge Brian Callaghan commented that Thomas acknowledged this was not a victimless crime as these were children in these degrading acts.

Steve O’Brien says the Department will continue to seek out offenders.

“The material these latest offenders were involved in is only possible because adults are abusing children,” Mr O’Brien said. “Parliament sent a strong warning that our society will not tolerate this and offenders are now facing much stronger consequences.”


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