1 Nov 2017

Man jailed for child sexual exploitation material

8:44 pm on 1 November 2017

A "handbook" for paedophiles - which included chapters on how to initiate sexual relationships with children and how to avoid detection - was among material found on the computers of a Lower Hutt man jailed for trading child sexual exploitation material.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The material was found after complaints were made in 2015 to an Internal Affairs Department cyber-tip line about a New Zealander uploading child sexual abuse material.

Salman Alhisaynawi, 44, was sentenced in the Wellington District Court on eight representative charges, including making and distributing objectionable publications and jailed for five years.

Internal Affairs inspectors found he had over 200,000 still images of child sexual abuse, along with thousands of videos of similar material, most of which was stored on 17 different cloud storage accounts around the world.

The department's lawyer, Marty Robinson said the collection was the biggest ever found by the organisation.

He said the production charge related to Alhisaynawi's compilation of several images showing what he had available to trade on the internet.

"There is no suggestion of contact offending ... It has a voiceover saying 'here's my collection and I'd like to trade with you'."

Judge Ian Mill said there were several aggravating features to Alhisaynawi's offending.

"All of the victims were extremely vulnerable and ... many of the videos depicted extreme cruelty, extreme violence, the rape of young children and children being forced to commit sexual acts on animals and adults."

Defence lawyer Geoff Fulton told the court his client said when he was feeling 'low' it led to him offending, which made him feel nervous and angry with himself and he tried to "squash the part of him that wants to use the computer".

Mr Fulton said his client put his offending in a cultural and religious context.

"He reported there was a person fighting against him and the person who was offending was the internal demon he fights, who makes him buy things or do things he doesn't wish to do.

"He referred to his cultural and mental health issues and contextualises those in terms of the demons."

Mr Fulton said when Alhisaynawi first came to New Zealand he was part of a community of refugees who understood where he had come from and kept in touch with him.

However, most of them had now returned to their homelands or moved to Australia, leaving his client increasingly socially isolated.

Judge Mill referred to comments made in an earlier, similar case, by Justice Priestley in the High Court.

"The fact such materials can be accessed online in the privacy of one's home, that the materials are photographic or that the people who choose to download them ... are gratifying their sexual deviancies ... obscures the fact that the [material's] production relies on the exploitation and defilement of children who are far away from the comfort of home ... vulnerable children being exploited for commercial gain."

Judge Mill said some of the abused children shown in the publications had since been identified in the United States and he read from a letter one of them, who is now aged 19.

"[I have] to live with the horrible knowledge that someone, somewhere is watching the most terrifying moments of [my] life, taking grotesque pleasure in them.

"The enormity of the circulation which is possible through the internet only serves to add to [my] grief and pain and it sickens [me] to the core and terrifies [me]."

Judge Mill said Alhisaynawi was a refugee who had suffered traumatic events in his own life but failed to acknowledge the trauma caused to the young people shown in the material on his computer.

He ordered that all the material seized be destroyed and that Alhisaynawi forfeit his computers and other devices.

The jail term imposed means Alhisaynawi will automatically be placed on the Child Sex Offenders Register.