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Tristan Scott has received community detention for hacking into the accounts of strangers to take images.

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Tristan Scott has received community detention for hacking into the accounts of strangers to take images.

A sex addict who trawled the internet to capture private intimate pictures of strangers and then reposted them has been given community detention.

Tristan Corey Scott​ had pleaded guilty to fourcharges including two charges of posting harmful digital communication, dishonestly accessing a computer system and possession of objectionable material.

Scott – who has a long history of offending going back to youth court – had used his computer skills to hack into the private accounts of individuals to find images of them that were intimate.

He also captured child-exploitation images, although that was not his intent.

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Wellington District Court judge Noel Sainsbury​ said on Wednesday that Scott collected those images without right.

“ But worse, at least twice, you then republished them in a way that meant that family and friends of the women have access to them when that was never intended.”

He said that was a gross breach of privacy and disturbing for the victims.

The judge said it was clear how damaging the behaviour was. “One of the features of the age we live in, is that material that is in electronic form, once disseminated, is very hard to claw back in terms of privacy.”

One victim – who had her victim impact statement read via video link – said she could not know where her images and videos would end up and that people could view intimate images of her without her consent.

“It caused me stress, disgust and shame that is not mine to carry,” she had said.

It also meant she had to share information with her family that was meant to be private between herself and her partner.

Judge Sainsbury also sentenced Scott to two years of intensive supervision and six months’ community detention. A condition of sentence was that Scott must tell any probation officer about any internet-capable device and to make them available if asked.

Scott’s lawyer, Doug Ewen, said he had been to a support group for his problem but knew he needed professional intervention.

He said Scott was honest about his problems and wished to address them.

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