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Customs investigation results in jail time for Wairarapa man

03.53pm 15 February 2024 | News

A Wairarapa man has been jailed to three years and four months’ imprisonment for the import, possession and distribution of objectionable publications, which depict the sexual abuse of children.

He was also convicted for making objectionable publications, namely adult bestiality videos.

The 43-year-old defendant appeared at the Wellington District Court today (15 February). He arrived at Wellington Airport in January 2023 from a holiday in the Philippines and questioning and a search by Customs officers detected child sexual exploitation videos on his two phones. 

A subsequent search warrant at the defendant’s Wairarapa home address by Customs’ investigators and electronic forensic specialist uncovered further child sexual abuse videos on his laptop, hard drive and phone, as well as home-made adult bestiality videos.

Chief Customs Officer - Child Exploitation Operations Team, Simon Peterson, says Customs was initially alerted to the alleged offending by an overseas-based social media chat platform and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  

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

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

“Today’s sentencing shows that Customs, along with our domestic and international partner agencies, will continue to hold such offenders to account for their abhorrent actions,” Mr Peterson said.

If you have concerns or suspicions about someone who may be trading in, or producing child sexual abuse images or videos, contact Customs confidentially on 0800 WE PROTECT (0800 937 768) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.   

If you are, or know of, someone who is at risk or being abused, contact the Police immediately.