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B.C. man sentenced to 13 months for 'horrific' collection of child pornography

Scales of justice. (Shutterstock) Scales of justice. (Shutterstock)
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A Vancouver Island man has been sentenced to 13 months in jail after he was caught with what a B.C. court judge described as a "horrific" and "sadistic" collection of child pornography.

The images and videos numbered in the hundreds of thousands, spread across six electronic devices.

The 66-year-old man, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, came to the attention of authorities in 2021 after technology giant Microsoft alerted the U.S. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children that a Microsoft user had uploaded an image that appeared to be child pornography.

In October of that year, police searched the man's home and recovered a trove of "graphic, explicit and disturbing depictions of sexual abuse and sexual assault" involving children as young as five years old, wrote Judge Barbara Flewelling in her sentencing decision.

The perpetrator, a retired father of two with no significant criminal history, "initially believed that watching child pornography was a victimless crime and that it was not real, 'like fiction,'" Flewelling wrote.

"He told his wife that saving all the child pornography was a game and that he initially viewed child pornography by accident. He told his wife he knew it was wrong."

A psychological assessment determined the man is of low to moderate risk to reoffend if he remains engaged in a sex offender treatment program that he enrolled in last June.

"He has developed some insight into the harm that child pornography perpetuates against children," the judge wrote. "He has remorse which he expressed to his wife and to this court at the conclusion of the sentence hearing."

However, the judge cited as aggravating factors the size and of the man's collection and the severity of the images it contained, some of which she described as "sadistic."

"These are horrific videos and images," the judge wrote.

"The makers and distributors of child pornography are in business because they have customers like [him]," she continued.

"The internet has provided an easy way to publish these horrific videos and images and spread them across the globe. It is difficult to investigate, track and find the vast network of those who produce, publish and consume these depictions of the worst sort of child abuse."

The judge sentenced the man to two years of probation following his release from Ford Mountain Correctional Centre in Chilliwack, B.C.

Conditions of his release include that he report in person to his probation officer in Campbell River and have no contact or communication with anyone under 16 years old.

He must also remain on the sex offender registry for 20 years. 

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