Pending prosecution was no deterrent to continued offending

Wednesday 21 March 2012, 1:45PM

By Department of Internal Affairs



A 26-year-old unemployed man continued to distribute objectionable pictures on the Internet even though he knew he was facing two other prosecutions.

Aaron Thomas Potter of Browns Bay, Auckland, was jailed (yesterday) for 25 months after pleading guilty in the North Shore District Court to 40 charges involving the distribution and possession of objectionable publications.

The Department of Internal Affairs had already executed two search warrants on Potter in 2010 when an inspector, operating on the Internet, caught him again. Forensic examination of his computers showed he had over 80,000 picture files and 1200 movies depicting the sexual abuse of children.

Judge Laurie Hinton accepted that Potter was a “troubled young man”. He adopted a starting point of three years’ imprisonment for the offending, reduced by 11 months for Potter’s early guilty plea and his personal circumstances.

Internal Affairs’ General Manager of Regulatory and Compliance Operations, Maarten Quivooy, said the Censorship Compliance Unit started investigating Potter after receiving two complaints about a New Zealander posting objectionable material on the Internet.

“We are an integral part of a world-wide effort tackling this offending,” Maarten Quivooy said. “We work in partnership with Interpol and other agencies targeting those involved in this trade. People who deal in or download this material should expect to be caught.

“While we make every effort to help prevent such offending from occurring in the first place, the Department has demonstrated repeatedly that it can track down offenders and bring them to account. We will be continuing to do so in order to prevent the abuse of children in our communities."