1 Mar 2017

Questions over supervision of child sex offender

7:50 am on 1 March 2017

Police refuse to say if they monitored a convicted child pornographer in the months before he was arrested to face child sex abuse charges in Australia.

Craig Edward Broadley ran a Lower Hutt painting business during the 18 months between finishing a home detention sentence for making and having child pornography, and his arrest ahead of his extradition.

The computer files that led to Broadley's conviction, in mid-2014, helped break open a global paedophile ring, run by a Queensland couple who farmed out their adopted son for sex.

no caption

Authorities will not say if they supervised Craig Edward Broadley in Wellington before he was extradited to face child abuse charges in Australia. Photo: 123RF

Broadley, from the Lower Hutt suburb of Waiwhetu, was extradited to Australia last week. He appeared in a Brisbane court on Friday facing nine charges of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 12. He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody.

Queensland police said they had electronic material showing Broadley, 42, sexually abusing a Russian boy known as Adam.

A gay Queensland couple bought the Russian newborn for $US8000 and then farmed him out to paedophiles, who in turn paid for the couple's overseas trips. They went to 30 countries in six years before they were jailed in 2013.

Peter Truong and Mark Newton are serving 30 and 40 years respectively in a US prison. Adam's treatment is the subject of several investigations and a documentary on child exploitation.

Broadley was arrested last August. Australian police started his extradition process early last year, but it did not happen until last week.

Before his arrest, he spent 18 months running his painting business, Trustworks 2013 Limited.

RNZ News has been unable to ascertain from police, Corrections or the Department of Internal Affairs if authorities supervised Broadley in that time - starting from about February 2015.

In the seven months after his 2014 conviction, he was on a home detention sentence for making and possessing objectionable material and had supervision while painting.

Photos showed Broadley in Wellington with Russian child victim

Broadley's conviction, in mid-2014, was thanks to Department of Internal Affairs work. They found seemingly innocent photos and a video of 6-year-old Adam with Broadley, taken on hills above Wellington Airport, on his computer.

Broadley was convicted over other images, showing men sexually abusing children. The Adam pictures were sent to Queensland police, helping crack open the Truong-Newton ring.

There is no mention in past stories, in Australia, the US or New Zealand, of the Queensland couple trafficking the boy to New Zealand.

RNZ News asked police if they investigated Broadley for child sex abuse in New Zealand, given the link provided by the Wellington airport pictures.

By 2014, police were familiar with how Truong and Newton operated.

Police said they were "not able to respond to requests which seek to establish whether specific individuals or organisations are, or have been, under investigation".

RNZ has asked why it took two years or so to charge Broadley with child sex abuse, given that, in 2014, his ties to the paedophile ring were proved.

The ring had archives of abuse photos and videos, though often with the adult's face cropped out.

Authorities refuse to comment

Police would not say if they supervised Broadley in his Lower Hutt painting business between the end of his home detention and his arrest, citing privacy reasons.

They said any person subject to extradition could have bail conditions placed on them; that the courts imposed bail conditions; and the court in question now was in another jurisdiction (Queensland), so they could not discuss it.

RNZ asked Broadley's lawyer in Brisbane, Stephen O'Reilly, about this. He was mystified, saying for an Australian court to set bail conditions Broadley would need to have appeared there before now.

The Australian detective inspector who headed the investigation, Jon Rouse, referred RNZ to Internal Affairs in New Zealand.

Internal Affairs said they had no comment as Broadley was before the courts.

Corrections gave a similar response.

Last week, Mr Rouse said Broadley's arrest "closes the final chapter on a protracted and difficult investigation that has resulted in the arrest of members of a child sex offender network that spanned the globe".

Veteran painter Roy Cox sold Trustworks to Broadley in 2013. He said no school or pre-school contracts were included in the sale.

Mr Cox worked alongside Broadley for the duration of his seven months of home detention, as a condition set by the court. He said they painted houses, none of which had families with young children living in them.

He said Broadley did all sorts of court-ordered rehabilitation courses and was remorseful. At the time Mr Cox finished working with Broadley and retired to Tauranga, he would have trusted him, he said.