Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Man jailed for child sexual abuse material


8 February 2013
Man jailed for child sexual abuse material

An Auckland man was today sentenced in the Manukau District Court to 20 months’ imprisonment for importing and possessing 14,000 images and 700 movies depicting child sexual abuse, following a Customs prosecution.

During sentencing, Judge Johns emphasised that this type of offending involves real victims, some of who have suffered horrific sexual abuse. She said this exploitation is then perpetuated as the images and videos of the children’s abuse are spread via the internet.

Her honour stressed that there is a strong need to deter and denounce this kind of offending, and that only a sentence of imprisonment was appropriate in this case.

Michael Ransfield, 58, had pleaded guilty to 10 charges of importing objectionable publications prohibited under the Customs and Excise Act, and 30 charges of possessing objectionable publication, prohibited under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. Each of these offences carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

Customs Acting Group Manager Investigations and Response, Chris Howley, is pleased with the sentencing result.

“The online and border movement of child sexual abuse material is a grim reality. Customs places high priority on this type of offending and we vigorously investigate and prosecute individuals involved in importing, exporting, possessing, and trading child objectionable material,” Mr Howley said.

“Each image or video depicting child sexual exploitation is actually a crime scene, and Customs works actively with various local and international agencies to identify these child victims.”

“The Ransfield case is a good example of the local and international relationships Customs has with other agencies also committed to combating the online trading of child sexual abuse material.”

In 2011, Customs received information that a US-hosted website, which appeared to offer online access to images depicting child sexual abuse, had been accessed by a New Zealander. Further investigations by Customs identified Ransfield, leading to a search warrant of his residence where he was questioned and arrested.

Forensic examination of his electronic devices revealed 14,000 images and 700 movie files that had been downloaded over a period of four years, with the last download occurring only hours before Customs executed the search warrant. The child victims were aged between one and fourteen years old, and the images included depiction of extreme abuse.


• Media are urged to use the terminology ‘child sexual abuse images’ or ‘child objectionable material’, and not ‘child pornography’ as the use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually downplays child sex abuse:
o It indicates legitimacy and compliance on the victim’s part and therefore suggests legality on the abuser’s part
o It conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than the image capturing the suffering of horrific abuse
o Every publication of these images promotes the sexual exploitation of children and young people and often portrays actual child abuse occurring at the time. This is not pornography.
• Objectionable material is prohibited in New Zealand under the Customs and Excise Act 1996 and the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.
• Objectionable material or publication includes, but is not limited to, films, videos, computer games, DVDs, CD-ROMs, books, posters, music recordings, magazines, photographs, paintings, t-shirts and computer files.
• Material or a publication is classified as objectionable if it describes, depicts, expresses or deals with matters such as sex, horror, crime, cruelty or violence in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good.
• Under s 209(1)(A) & (5) Customs & Excise Act 1996, individuals found to have been knowingly concerned in the importation or exportation of objectionable material can face up to five years' imprisonment. There are similar and more stringent penalties under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 for additional relevant offending of this type.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news