(Reuters) - A New Zealand man was jailed on Thursday for spreading images of Islamic State (IS) violence, the first person sentenced to prison for circulating and possessing objectionable material linked to extreme violence, local media reported.
Imran Patel, 26, was jailed for three years and nine months by an Auckland court after he admitted to making, distributing and possessing videos depicting cruel violence perpetuated by IS, according to news website stuff.co.nz.
The prison sentence was the first for someone on an objectionable material charge related to violence. To date, all such charges in New Zealand had related to indecent child images, said Auckland District Court Judge Russell Collins, according to the news site said.
Patel had sent text messages with a link to an IS beheading video to 52 people last year, after which police discovered a laptop containing 62 objectionable videos showing extreme violence or cruelty, stuff.co.nz reported.
Patel told police he wanted to provide information on what was happening in the Middle East, because he believed western media wasn't showing a balanced view, the news website said.
A court official was not able to offer any information on the proceedings to Reuters and Patel's lawyer did not return a call requesting comment.
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Michael Perry)