14 Feb 2012

Man who organised Thai child sex tour jailed

8:29 pm on 14 February 2012

An Auckland man convicted of organising a child sex tour in Thailand has been jailed for three years.

The 48-year-old was found guilty of the charge at a trial last year, but acquitted of a separate charge of promoting a child sex tour.

The man was arrested two years ago after an undercover police officer posing as an interested client asked him for help in finding underage boys to have sex with in Thailand.

In sentencing at the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday morning, Justice Wylie told the man his actions were despicable and any remorse shown is too little too late.

"Such males are very vulnerable - both their age and their relative poverty make them easy targets for exploitation.

"There is nothing to suggest that either then or now you have given any thought to the abuse of these children or to their vulnerability, or to the suffering your offending could have subjected them to."

The man has previous convictions for indecent assault and sex with an underage boy.

His name suppression continues as he is facing separate charges still before the courts.

A child protection group says it is satisfied with the sentence.

Child Alert director Alan Bell says it is the first time a New Zealander has been sentenced for such an offence.

Mr Bell says he hopes the sentence will send a strong message to other offenders.

But he says he is disturbed by how long it took for such a case involving the safety of children to reach a conclusion in the courts.