3 Aug 2018

Former North Shore board chairman Martin Lawes admits streaming online abuse

12:01 pm on 3 August 2018

A millionaire and former community board member has admitted paying poor Filipino parents to sexually abuse their children in live online videos while he watched.

Entrance to the High Court in Auckland

Entrance to the High Court in Auckland Photo: justice.govt.nz

Martin Lawes admitted charges of dealing with a person under 18 for sexual exploitation and importing and possessing child sex images when he appeared in the High Court in Auckland today.

As well as paying for the online videos, the 74-year-old was also found with objectionable photos on his computer.

The former chairman of Northcote Town Centre Incorporated and the Takapuna community board chairman was charged after five adults were arrested in the Philippines.

The authorities there uncovered the abuse of 12 girls aged between seven and 19, 11 of which were under the age of 15.

Lawes made 36 payments to three of the leaders - totalling more than $2000.

He's been allowed to remain on bail until his sentencing date next month.