27 Feb 2020

Man jailed for possession, distribution of child sexual abuse images

12:55 pm on 27 February 2020

A 30-year-old man man has been jailed for distributing images of children being abused and blackmail.

Exterior of the Manukau District Court

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Earl Gary Chatterton was sentenced at Manukau District Court to four years and nine months in prison.

He admitted 26 charges of knowingly possessing and distributing child sexual abuse images, and one of blackmail.

Police say yesterday's sentencing was the end of a joint investigation with the Department of Internal Affairs that began in 2018.

The investigation revealed Chatterton distributed, copied and was in possession of more than 80 objectionable image files, and attempted to blackmail several people for financial gain.

Detective Senior Sergeant Eddie Sutherland said the offending was abhorrent. He said police, the Department of Internal Affairs and Customs worked closely together to identify and bring to justice those who seek to exploit defenseless and vulnerable children and adults.

Department of Internal Affairs censorship manager Tim Houston said the department proactively shared knowledge and insight to identify these individuals who offend against our most vulnerable members of society.