The Auckland High Court. Photo: Google Maps

A New Zealand man was sentenced to four years and six months in prison after being found guilty of paying for live footage of children being abused in the Philippines.

Last September, Martin Henry Lawes, 75, was arrested as part of an international child pornography operation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.

The court heard that Lawes paid more than NZ$100,000 (US$65,930) to Filipino adults to arrange online sexual abuse of children, Philippine Lifestyle News reported.

New Zealand authorities found hundreds of images of children on Lawes’ computer, some believed to be as young as three, when they raided his home in September 2017.

In August, Lawes pleaded guilty to three counts of entering into a deal involving people under 18 for sex, one charge of being knowingly concerned in the importation of objectionable publications and one charge of possessing an objectionable publication.

Lawes said he was helping the victims escape from poverty by sending them money in exchange for the footage of sexually abused children.

On Sept. 18 at the High Court in Auckland, Lawes was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

Original: Millionaire admits he paid to see children sexually abused

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