‘Kiwipedo’ who tried to buy child online for sex resentenced to three years

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2022-12-07 07:51:34

By Qiuyi Tan, Open Justice reporter of NZ Herald

Late night internet addiction or working late man using laptop computer in the dark

Aaron Joseph Hutton was known on the dark web as ‘Kiwipedo’.
Photo: 123rf

WARNING: This story contains descriptions and language associated with child sex offending.

A man who tried to buy a child online for sex received just over three years for his depraved actions at a resentencing heard in court today.

Known on the dark web as ‘Kiwipedo’, Aaron Joseph Hutton was sent to jail last January for trying to buy a young girl for sex on the dark web, spending months in a chat room to that end.

His intended victim was three and Hutton intended to use her as a sex slave, a Judge said earlier.

Hutton has claimed he only intended to “troll” authorities and was in possession of hundreds child abuse images by accident.

Hutton’s five-year term was tossed in July 2021 after High Court Justice Timothy Brewer found the previous sentencing hearing was improperly conducted.

Hutton appeared for another sentencing on Wednesday before Judge David Sharp in the Auckland District Court after convictions for possessing objectionable material and dealing with people under 18 for sex.

He sat masked in the dock wearing a white shirt, remaining silent and appearing bored by the proceedings.

Hutton sat up and began listening more attentively when Judge Sharp began delivering his new sentence. He has been on remand in custody.

His lawyer had submitted that Hutton was remorseful.

Judge Sharp said a pre-sentence report showed Hutton had suffered protracted abuse and had substance abuse issues.

However, Judge Sharp said the lead offending, the charge of dealing with people under 18 for sex that amounted to attempting to procure an infant online, was depraved and there were no mitigating features.

“These are significant aggravating aspects,” Judge Sharp said.

“The offending has nothing to it which could be said to be mitigating.”

Because the lead charge amounted to an unsuccessful attempt, the maximum sentence that could be imposed was seven years, Judge Sharp said.

His lawyer sought a starting point of two-and-half years but the judge said that was insufficient, instead adopting three-and-half years.

That was increased to four years taking into account Hutton’s possession of child abuse material.

Judge Sharp reduced the sentence by four months to take into account a late plea, with the same reduction for the rehabilitative work he had undertaken including drug and alcohol course.

A further two-month discount was applied for his time spent on electronically monitored bail and the availability of restorative justice, leading to an end sentence of three years, two months. He received two years for the child abuse images, to be served concurrently.

Justice Brewer earlier determined that the district court judge who oversaw the sentencing should have ordered a disputed facts hearing after realising the Crown and the defence disagreed over the summary of facts presented to the court.

Police first started tracking a person with the username ‘Kiwipedo’ in 2014, thanks to an undercover operation on the dark web conducted by Australian law enforcement.

The computer was traced to an Auckland workplace in 2015, and both the workplace and his home were searched by New Zealand authorities.

The Department of Internal Affairs was alerted, and undercover officers from New Zealand then contacted him on the dark web.

Not realising he was speaking to undercover law enforcement officers in Australia, Kiwipedo described notorious Austrian paedophile Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter in a basement for 24 years and repeatedly raped her, as a “hero”, authorities alleged.

It was with New Zealand officers that he started asking about international child trafficking and said he would pay up to $15,000 in cash or in Bitcoin for a child under seven.

Hutton initially stood trial for two charges of attempting to deal with a young person for sexual exploitation, one charge of attempted indecent act on a child and 15 charges of possession of objectionable publications.

As part of his plea agreement, Hutton admitted that from January to February 2015 he tried to enter a deal involving the sexual exploitation of a girl under the age of seven. He also pleaded guilty to one representative charge of possession of 417 objectionable images of children being sexually abused.

Other charges were withdrawn by the Crown, including allegations from April 2015 involving another fictitious child.

The Crown said the agreement included a stipulation that the summary of facts would also contain the withdrawn charges so that Auckland District Court Judge Allan Roberts could have context for the remaining charges. But Hutton’s lawyer disagreed.

Judge Roberts, who had scheduled the sentencing hearing for his last day on the bench, decided to accept the summary of facts as it was.

“The defence takes issue with the following material,” he noted. “I consider, however, that it does serve to paint a full picture of exactly what it was you were looking for.”

During the original sentencing hearing, Judge Robert also characterised as “nonsense” the suggestion that Hutton only aimed to waste police time and was never going to go through with child sex trafficking.

“Your intended victim was three,” the judge said. “She was to become a sex slave.”

* This story originally appeared in the New Zealand Herald.

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Source by [earlynews24.com]