Dunedin man posed as priest abusing children online

New Zealand Herald

June 24, 2020

By Rob Kidd

A Dunedin man posed as a priest while fantasising with others online about violating children, a court has heard.

Andrew Lee Gardner, who has his own computer repair business, was jailed for six months when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday — his third time in the dock on sex offences.

He was first convicted in 2007 of sexual connection with a young person, indecent assault and possessing an objectionable publication.

Gardner was ordered to attend the STOP sex offender programme in Christchurch as part of his sentence but the court heard yesterday he was evicted because of his negative attitude.

Judge Kevin Phillips noted the man thought his offending was less severe than others in the group and became disengaged.

Untreated for his sexual predilections, Gardner was again before the court in 2010 for grooming.

Yesterday, the court heard the defendant initially came to the attention of Canadian authorities for his conduct on a chat website under the username “tkoguynz”.

Gardner used the site from early 2018 to conduct “age-play”, which involves two or more users fabricating an illegal scenario with a child, then describing the sexual liaison.

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