Pearce Patrick Buckley (34) told the jury at his Dunedin District Court trial in June that the accumulation of the depraved images and videos had been inadvertent.
Despite being found guilty on three charges of knowingly possessing objectionable publications, he maintained that stance at last week’s sentencing.
‘‘You told the jury you had an interest in a very particular form of pornography: women, particularly tall women, dominating men dressed up as babies,’’ Judge Michael Turner said.
‘‘You said you were not interested in what might be described as mainstream pornography because you considered it was ‘fake’. You wanted what you described as ‘the real experience’ — amateur.’’
Crown prosecutor Marcail Brosnan said that was not supported by the evidence.
In June 2018, Buckley created an account under the name ‘‘John Parker’’ on the Mega website, an encrypted file storage application with more than 230 million users.
Shortly after establishing the account, the defendant imported a folder called ‘‘Nunu’’ which contained more than 11,000 files featuring graphic depictions of sexual abuse against children.
There were also bestiality files among them, the judge noted.
Buckley deleted the Nunu file seven minutes after getting it but later the same day re-imported it and it remained in his account for several days.
In total, four copies of the file were found in his virtual trash by Department of Internal Affairs investigators, the court heard.
While Buckley denied knowledge of the seriousness or the sheer volume of what he was importing, Mega’s chief compliance officer gave evidence that thumbnail previews of the content would be visible before such action was taken.
Counsel Brendan Stephenson stressed the offending took place over the course of just a week and did not involve a steady accumulation or curating of illicit material as was often the case.
There was also a lack of evidence over how often Buckley accessed the images and videos in his possession, Mr Stephenson said.
He provided letters to the court written by supporters of the defendant, which spoke of the man’s caring nature.
‘‘Isn’t there some irony that he helps out his extended family but preys on other vulnerable children to satisfy what can only be described as a sexual deviancy?’’ Judge Turner said.
‘‘The offending involves violence of the most grotesque kind against children.’’
Since Buckley maintained his ‘‘hollow’’ denials, the judge said his rehabilitative prospects were weak. He was jailed for three years, two months and, because of his incarceration, will automatically be placed on the Child Sex Offender Register.