14 October 2004
Inadequate Sentence For Man Who Traded Images Of Young Infants And Toddlers Being Sexual Abused
Two community groups who work to combat the trade in child sex abuse images believe the sentence handed down yesterday to 45-year old Wellington man, Barry George Stove, is manifestly inadequate.
Stove was convicted for distributing pictures of children, including young infants, being sexually abused by adult men. At the time of the warrant Stove, an engineering storeman living with a partner and three children, had been exchanging images of children being sexually abused for at least five years.
Judge Walsh imposed a sentence of 300 hours community work, one year’s supervision and an order for psychiatric assessment and counselling.
Spokesperson for ECPAT and Stop Demand Foundation, Denise Ritchie, said “The global trade in child sex abuse images is perpetuated by offenders like Stove who distribute and seek out further images which require more children to be abused. Offenders like Stove contribute directly to the ongoing sexual violation of children. Community work is a manifestly inadequate sentence which trivialises the gravity of the offending. It trivialises the sexual abuse of children and the long-term effects on victims. Such a weak sentence does not act as a deterrent to others and works against global efforts to combat this trade.”
ECPAT and Stop Demand Foundation also expressed concern about the time being taken to implement proposed legislation which will see a hefty increase in penalties. However, as Denise Ritchie states, “Judges already have the power to imprison those who trade such material. They do not need to wait for new laws to be introduced.”