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More jail time for mum who filmed abuse

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/05/2016

An Auckland mother who filmed herself sexually abusing her 15-month-old son for $300 has had her jail term nearly doubled on appeal.

Krystal Harvey, 23, must now serve a prison sentence of three years and nine months, a decision by High Court Justice Edwin Wylie says.

In 2014, Harvey filmed herself, using her cellphone, sexually abusing her 15-month-old son and sold the footage for $300.

She had earlier taken naked photos of them, which her sister passed on to an acquaintance, and then also agreed to allow the acquaintance access to her two children.

She admitted unlawful sexual connection and making an objectionable publication and in Manukau District Court was initially sentenced to eight months' home detention, judicial monitoring and community service.

However, because she had received threats and no home could be found for her the sentence was cancelled and replaced with a two-year jail term.

The Crown appealed the original home detention sentence, and then even the replacement jail sentence, arguing neither was enough for such a pre-meditated crime.

Justice Wylie said the original judge erred in thinking the son's age made it less serious - that he wouldn't remember anything - but he could become aware of the footage.

It was double exploitation, he said.

"Ms Harvey both victimised her son and allowed him to be victimised by somebody else."

The court decision says Harvey had an unfortunate background and a psychologist thought she might have a borderline personality disorder.

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