SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2008 BCSC 737, Mr. P, a 39-year-old man, pleaded guilty to possessing and accessing child pornography. He was also charged with mischief for hiding a video camera in the bedroom of his wife and step-daughter, but the charge was stayed.
Mr. P’s stepdaughter found a video camera hidden on a bureau in the room she shared with her mother. She pretended to be asleep and Mr. P removed the camera and brought it to his computer. A search of the computer located several hundred images of his partially nude wife and stepdaughter that had been surreptitiously recorded. His wife took the computer to the police department but requested that they not charge him, simply assure her that the images would not be distributed on the internet. The police searched the computer and found several images of child pornography on the computer.
Several months later, the Manitoba Integrated Child Exploitation mailed a letter to the department noting that Mr. Pommer had purchased access to a child pornography database from a website . A second search of the computer led to the discovery of more images and subscriptions to child pornography websites. A search of his laptop found hundreds of additional images of child pornography and evidence of accessing child pornography websites. There was evidence that Mr. P had been accessing this material over a long period of time – some of the content was of children in depraved circumstances – and had tried to delete traces of his searches on his computer.
The court noted the filming and downloading of the images of his stepdaughter and wife, but because the offence occurred prior to the introduction of the voyeurism provision, the court was cautious in taking his actions into consideration during sentencing. His actions were not considered an aggravating factor but as “additional evidence of the depravity of his character at the time of his offence.”
He was sentenced to a nine-month conditional sentence to be served in the community. Additional orders included: a no contact order with his ex-wife and stepdaughter; a prohibition from possessing unlawful pornography; a prohibition on possessing any encryption software, electronic device such as a Blackberry or cell phone, or utilities program that erases a program on a computer, or any other devices capable of downloading pictures from the Internet (other than for supervised employment purposes); a prohibition from using computers to communicate with anyone under 18; a DNA order; and, the forfeiture of all of the pornographic material.
Also see: 2008 BCSC 423 (Voir dire).