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Extensive child pornography files result in jail sentence

Extensive child pornography files result in jail sentence

Yesterday in the North Shore District Court Aaron Potter, 26 was sentenced to 25 months imprisonment on a number of charges relating to possessing and distributing objectionable publications. Judge Hinton noted the extended period of his offending, the premeditated and sophisticated nature of his offending and the fact that he had continued to offend after the first search warrant was executed. Potter was first contacted in July 2010 and a search warrant was executed. Despite this he continued his activity and was again subject of a search warrant in December 2010.

Child protection agency ECPAT Child ALERT works to prevent sexual exploitation of children. Director Alan Bell says “This man was determined to offend. He took precautions to avoid detection and safeguarded his collection of child sex abuse images by encryption and password protected files. He obviously knew that he was doing wrong and it is good that the Department of Internal Affairs Censorship Unit were able to identify his activities and put a stop to them.”

Potter appeared for sentence on 40 charges and the search of his property and equipment identified a total of over 80,000 picture files and 1,200 movies depicting the sexual exploitation of children.

“These images need to recognised for what they are “ says Bell. “They are technically referred to as ‘objectionable material’ but in reality they are crime scenes. They are images of real children being raped and abused – and often they are just innocent infants and toddlers. This abuse of children is totally unacceptable. It is an illegal dollar- driven industry fuelled by demand from consumers that creates the need for more child victims. Our law enforcement agencies do a great job of tracking down offenders but this abuse needs to be prevented in the first place. This can only happen when law enforcement, industry, agencies and individuals work together to bring about change.”

Judge Hinton accepted that Potter was a "troubled young man." There were orders made for forfeiture of the computer equipment and accessories and for destruction of the objectionable material.

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