Earl Gary Chatterton jailed for possession, distribution of child abuse imagery

Manukau District Court.
Manukau District Court. Photo credit: Google Maps

A 30-year-old man will spend almost five years behind bars for knowingly possessing and distributing child sexual abuse imagery.

Earl Gary Chatterton was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison at Manukau District Court on Wednesday. 

His sentencing follows an 18-month joint investigation by the police and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) which began in August 2018.

Chatterton pled guilty to 26 charges involving the distribution and possession of child sexual abuse and exploitation imagery and one charge of blackmail.

The investigation found that Chatterton distributed, copied and possessed more than 80 "objectionable" image files and attempted to blackmail several people for financial gain.

Detective Senior Sergeant Eddie Sutherland said the sentencing shows that police, the DIA and customs will not tolerate this "abhorrent offending". 

"The strength of the three agencies working collaboratively means we are more effective when it comes to identifying and bringing to justice those who seek to exploit defenceless and vulnerable children and adults within our community," Sutherland said in a statement.

"We proactively share knowledge and insight to identify these individuals who offend against our most vulnerable members of society," said Tim Houston, a censorship manager for Internal Affairs.

If you are concerned about your or someone else's sexual behaviour, contact organisations such as Safe Network, WellStop and STOP, local treatment providers or specialist therapists.

Where to find help and support: 

Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633

Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)

Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)

Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

Samaritans - 0800 726 666

Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584