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Three years in prison for explicit content

A Filipino man living in Wairarapa who was arrested last year for possessing child sexual abuse images on his [multiple] phones has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

The now 43-year-old man was arrested in January last year at Wellington Airport after returning from a holiday in the Philippines.

Prior to his arrest, police had received a tip-off about the offending by a foreign social media chat platform and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Customs found images on two of the man’s phones.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s house in Wairarapa after he was arrested, and Customs investigators took more devices.

Electronic forensic specialists found further child sexual abuse videos on a laptop, hard drive and phone, as well as home-made adult bestiality videos.

The man appeared in Wellington District Court on Thursday this week, where he was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for the import, possession and distribution of objectionable publications depicting the sexual abuse of children.

He was also convicted for making objectionable publications, in light of the home-made videos found by Customs officials at his home.

Customs’ chief officer for the child exploitation operations team Simon Peterson said that online illicit activity had led to the man’s initial arrest, catching him “red-handed”.

“Customs detected the man’s offending on social media and arrested him on arrival into the country after a holiday, catching him red-handed with child sexual exploitation videos on his phones,” Peterson said.

“Further videos depicting abuse – many of them considered to be the most extreme – were uncovered at his home.”

He said that the sentencing result reflected resolve from Customs to hold “abhorrent” offending like this to account.

“The children in these videos are real and likely to face life-long trauma after what they have gone through,” Peterson said.

“They are not only re-victimised every time someone watches their videos, but these videos also fuel a perpetual and increasing demand for this type of crime.”

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