A "depraved" paedophile has been sent to prison for sexual offending against his infant son.
A 27-year-old South Canterbury man was sentenced in the Oamaru District Court this afternoon to eight years 10 months imprisonment by Judge Joanna Maze for offending which will have a profound effect on his child.
The man sat motionless in the dock as he was sentenced on a raft of child exploitation charges, including two of sexual violation and indecent assault, and selling the use of his then 13-month-old son for sexual gratification for $500.
A minimum non-parole period of five years was imposed.
He was granted permanent name suppression to protect the identity of his victim, the charges also included eight of doing an indecent act and 15 of making, possessing and distributing objectionable material and breaching a restraining order. The child is in the care of his mother.
Judge Maze said the offender had offered pictures and videos of him exploiting his child in trade for photos of sexual offending against young girls. Between May and July last year he took images of him abusing his then 13-month-old son. Police found 815 objectionable images on his computer and 84 videos.
The offender admitted straight away to police his offending when questioned in July last year and later went back to Police and thanked them for saving his life. The offender also tried to take his own life before the charges were laid. He said he could not identify any triggers that had led to the offending against his child.
"You were the one person that he was entitled to think would protect him," Judge Joanna Maze said."How does a 13-month-old child protect himself? He can't, he can't even make a complaint.
"The harm to the victim is difficult to quantify. The big difficulty will be keeping your part in his life from him as he grows up. There will be distress when he discovers the truth."
He had traded his son like a commodity, she said.
"It is degrading and cruel. You created a trading commodity so you could get pornographic film back.''
Crown prosecutor Andrew McRae said the offending included recording by video and photographing his sexual offending against his son and using the internet to distribute the material.
The offender was given a three strike warning.
It's hard to adequately express what we think about this man. We simply don't understand how a parent could use his child as a tradeable commodity in this manner.
This whole case defies any attempt at logical thought. But it also demonstrates that we have a small number of people in our communities who are so depraved that they commit horrific acts on young children, or even worse, encourage others to do so. We can only hope that the victim in this case is young enough to have no memory of this abuse in later years.
It will be interesting to see whether the Crown appeals against the sentence imposed on this paedophile. On the face of it, eight years and ten months with a minimum non-parole period of five years seems on the light side for sexual offending at the very high end of the scale. But that is another issue for another day.