Department of Internal Affairs v Urwin [2019] NZDC 16501

Published 05 August 2020

Sentencing — distribution and possession of objectionable publications — child sexual exploitation — Viber — Kik — Sentencing Act 2002, s 8 — Department of Internal Affairs v Chadwick [2018] NZDC 20716 — Robinson v Police [2017] NZHC 2655 — Webb v R [2016] NZHC 2966. The defendant appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to four charges of distributing objectionable publications and five charges of possession of objectionable publications. He had distributed 109 objectionable images and video files depicting the sexual abuse of young girls (aged mainly between one and 12) between July 2016 and November 2017. The publications were distributed to 10 other users across two different social media platforms (Viber and Kik) and promoted the sexual abuse of children. He had downloaded 2243 objectionable images and video files containing child exploitation material. The objectionable publications included young girls, some infants, being vaginally and anally raped, being subjected to violence while being sexually abused, and bestiality. The defendant had also communicated with other people while distributing the material, encouraging the sexual exploitation of children including at an extreme level. Aggravating features were the 15-month duration of offending, the scale of the offending, age of the victims, the nature of the acts depicted and premeditation (the defendant had adopted three different online identities). Based on the features of the case, sentencing principles and case law, the Judge adopted a starting sentence of nine years. A fifteen per cent reduction was given for the defendant's remorse, character and willingness to change, taking the sentence to seven years and nine months' imprisonment. After a two year reduction for early guilty pleas, the final sentence was five years and nine months. The defendant was also placed on the Child Sex Offender Register. Judgment Date: 23 August 2019.