Stephen John Laing – New Zealand’s worst Child pornographer

Judge Philip Recordon said Laing was a serious and persistent offender who encouraged others to commit offences against children over a lengthy time.


Convicted child pornography distributor Stephen John Laing, 25, has been sentenced to five years in jail.

But members of the End Child Prostitution and Trafficking lobby group say the Massey resident should have been put away for longer.

Laing was jailed in March for the possession and distribution of child pornography.

He received the toughest sentence ever handed down for his type of crime in New Zealand.

Lobby group spokeswoman Lyn Mayson says the repeat offender should be in preventative custody.

“I think the sentence was too light – it’s the third or fourth time he’s been convicted,” she says.

“The Department of Internal Affairs has done a brilliant job catching him but then he just gets five years.”

Judge Philip Recordon said Laing was a serious and persistent offender who encouraged others to commit offences against children over a lengthy time.

He said his starting point for sentencing was seven and a half years but gave Laing credit for his early guilty pleas and sentenced him to the lesser term.

The heaviest sentence for similar crimes was three and a half years prison handed down to a Waikato man in October 2005 after the introduction of harsher penalties several months earlier.

The Department of Internal Affairs told the court that Laing’s offending was the most serious of its kind so far in New Zealand because of the brazen nature of his acts and the fact he is a repeat offender.

“On four separate occasions over several years our censorship inspectors have caught Laing trading in pictures of children being sexually abused,” spokesman Keith Manch says.

Mr Manch says previous sentences, including attempts at rehabilitating Mr Laing, have clearly
failed.

Laing was expelled from a sex offender programme for continuing to offend while undergoing treatment.

He was convicted for a third time for distribution and possession of objectionable publications last July and committed the latest offences while on bail awaiting sentence.

He was sentenced to two years supervision, 350 hours community work and fined after his first offence in 2003.

He got a one-year jail term after his second conviction in 2005.

Stop Demand Foundation founder Denise Ritchie is pleased with the latest sentence.

“It’s the toughest to date so we’re happy with that,” she says.

“I think it provides a good benchmark for future cases.”

UPDATE

One of New Zealand’s worst child pornography distributors – sentenced to a record jail term this month – has been moved to a secure unit after being attacked in Mt Eden prison.

Computer technician Stephen John Laing, 25, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment when he appeared in the Waitakere District Court 10 days ago on 56 representative charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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