Outrage child-porn offender living beside playcentre

NZ Herald July 29, 2008

The decision to grant a child-porn collector home detention next door to a children’s playgroup in place of a prison term has infuriated lobby group Family First NZ. Carterton man Jeffrey Elstow Milton, 58, yesterday began a six-month sentence of home detention next to a playcentre run by the Salvation Army. Prosecutor Mark Anderson had told Masterton District Court that Milton deserved no less than 18 months in jail for offending which stretched back five years, resulting in a collection of 1800 child-porn images on his computer. However, Milton is confined to a wheelchair as he suffers from advanced muscular dystrophy and Judge Bruce Davidson said a jail term would be “very harsh”. “Your mobility is highly restricted and it could be argued that you are a low risk to young children,” he said.

Family First labelled the sentence “offensive, pathetic and spineless. This is like putting a person battling with overeating next door to the local bakery. The rights of the victims, many of them children, to see justice are being trod on,” national director Bob McCoskrie said. Also under fire was a decision to sentence a Palmerston North man to eight months’ home detention and 150 hours’ community work after he admitted possessing 2000 child-porn images and films, including images of adults sexually abusing babies.

“Their decisions are spineless and send the completely wrong message. And they are perpetuating the problem by allowing offenders to be placed where the community, children, and even the offenders themselves, are put further at risk,” Mr McCoskrie said. “Each one of these images represents the violation and degradation of our most vulnerable – the ultimate in child abuse from which these children may take a lifetime to recover. Yet the average effect of the punishment for each image is staying home for less than three hours.”
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