Wine salesman Anthony David Cook, 59, hid under a ‘superdad’ username to share child sexual exploitation material.
Under the guise of the username ‘superdad’, Anthony David Cook uploaded obscene content depicting sexual content involving children to various social platforms.
Little did he know, Customs officers had been alerted and were watching him closely.
The 59-year-old wine salesman from Merivale, Christchurch, used other faux aliases including ‘Tom Dick’, ‘Cruise Hunter’ and others to upload the obscene images and videos with apparent anonymity.
Overseas authorities sent a referral to Customs in 2021 that a social media platform and cloud storage site reported a New Zealander was uploading child exploitation material. They found at least 1056 publications depicting child sexual abuse during a forensic examination of the man’s two phones.
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Cook was sentenced to four years and one month in prison at the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday.
Court documents reveal he spent at least two years collating and uploading content where children were committing sexual acts on themselves or others.
On January 11, 2019, using the username ‘superdad748’, Cook made his first upload to an overseas social media platform. He went on to progressively upload much more over the next two years.
Unknown to him, the upload was detected by the platform in Canada, who filed a report with the National Child Exploitation Coordination Center (NCECC), also based in Canada. The center investigates sexual exploitation of children on the Internet.
Men are the worst Kiwi offenders for online abuse and harassment. In 2017-18 year, 91 percent of the 53 people convicted for an offense under the Harmful Digital Communications Act were men. (First published in February 2019)
New Zealand Customs received a report from the NCECC in March 2019, and the investigation into Cook began. But, he could not be immediately identified from the initial report.
A second report from the NCECC in July 2021 revealed Cook as the account holder for the Internet at the Christchurch address where the report was flagged. A search warrant was executed and Cook’s game was up. His laptop and phones were seized, to which he refused to provide the pass codes.
Customs arrested Cook at his home in October of the same year and found at least 1056 publications depicting child sexual abuse during a forensic examination of his two phones.
Over two years, he’d sent a variety of content to eight different recipients.
He made comments, including: “I love to perv on young kids getting changed or in the showers.”
Another said: “I think the pools will finally get a visit from me this weekend.”
In sentencing Cook, Judge Tom Gilbert said he’d shown very little insight into the impact of his crimes.
“It seems clear that you have got distorted thinking around your offending and entrenched attraction to children,” the judge’s sentencing notes read.
He was assessed to be of medium to high risk of reoffending.
Judge Gilbert ordered the destruction of all equipment and material belonging to Cook, and sentenced him to four years and one month in prison.
Chief customs officer Simon Peterson said they worked closely with the Police, the Department of Internal Affairs and an international network of agencies to combat those who sexually abuse children.
“This sort of crime is not limited by international borders – and neither are we.”
Peterson said the man’s jail sentence was “a warning” of the consequences of exploiting, viewing and sharing such material.