Desmond John Millward
Sentenced to just 4 months in June 2000
NZ Herald story 1st July 2000
An Auckland Internet buff who was caught with up to 30,000 pictures of child sex and rape on his computer has been jailed for four months after a landmark court case. Desmond John Millward, aged 54, of Kohimarama, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court yesterday, after being convicted of two counts of making copies of objectionable material for supply and two of distributing it for gain. Millward was charged under laws written in 1993 that cover films, videos and publications, and there was much debate during his trial over the relevance of those laws to Internet crime.
Staff at Auckland's electronic crimes unit yesterday applauded the sentence and said it sent a strong message to other paedophiles. They believed it was the first conviction of its type in New Zealand. Police alleged that Millward used the nickname Lurker Down Under while a member of an international pornography ring called Pedo University. He lifted between 26,000 and 30,000 images of child sex from the Internet to his computer banks, plus 500 movies. Millward was said to have posted 19 sexually explicit images onto the Internet on September 1, 1998, that included girls as young as seven. Pedo University was busted after United States detectives started a probe in February 1998.
Thirteen people were arrested in the US, Canada, Sweden and New Zealand. The operations manager of the electronic crimes unit, John Thackray, said he was happy that Millward was being jailed, even though some of his overseas accomplices were imprisoned for years rather than months. "For New Zealand, under the current legislation, I'm very pleased. It's a good result that will send out a strong message."Mr Thackray said he believed it was the first time a person had been nailed for collecting and distributing child pornography from the Internet - although one man had already been caught filming up women's dresses with a shoe camera and posting the electronic images.
The crimes unit was probing a dozen alleged cases similar to Millward's in the upper North Island. Defence lawyer David Niven said Millward had suffered a stroke, lost his wife and been cut off by friends since he was caught. Some of the images were pulled from the Internet by an automatic programme, and Millward would not have seen many of them. But Judge Michael Hobbs said the images were pornography of "a particularly reprehensible nature." Millward's ill-health and other circumstances stopped him from imposing a longer sentence.
Date of Birth
Multiple objectionable material charges, including having up to 30,000 pictures of child sex and rape on his computer
unknown, suspected to be at large in Auckland
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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