MEDIA RELEASE 21 March 2012
Pending prosecution was no deterrent to continued offending
A 26-year-old unemployed man continued to distribute objectionable pictures on the Internet even though he knew he was
facing two other prosecutions.
Aaron Thomas Potter of Browns Bay, Auckland, was jailed (yesterday) for 25 months after pleading guilty in the North
Shore District Court to 40 charges involving the distribution and possession of objectionable publications.
The Department of Internal Affairs had already executed two search warrants on Potter in 2010 when an inspector,
operating on the Internet, caught him again. Forensic examination of his computers showed he had over 80,000 picture
files and 1200 movies depicting the sexual abuse of children.
Judge Laurie Hinton accepted that Potter was a “troubled young man”. He adopted a starting point of three years’
imprisonment for the offending, reduced by 11 months for Potter’s early guilty plea and his personal circumstances.
Internal Affairs’ General Manager of Regulatory and Compliance Operations, Maarten Quivooy, said the Censorship
Compliance Unit started investigating Potter after receiving two complaints about a New Zealander posting objectionable
material on the Internet.
“We are an integral part of a world-wide effort tackling this offending,” Maarten Quivooy said. “We work in partnership
with Interpol and other agencies targeting those involved in this trade. People who deal in or download this material
should expect to be caught.
“While we make every effort to help prevent such offending from occurring in the first place, the Department has
demonstrated repeatedly that it can track down offenders and bring them to account. We will be continuing to do so in
order to prevent the abuse of children in our communities."