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76-year-old guilty of making child porn

BRANDON -- A judge has convicted a senior of making child porn, despite the man's request to stop the trial.

"A stay of proceedings is the most drastic remedy a criminal court can order," Justice John Menzies told Brandon Court of Queen's Bench on Monday.

"On the facts of this case, I am not satisfied the accused has met the onus required for a stay of proceedings."

The man claimed his right to be free from arbitrary detention and his right to retain and instruct counsel without delay under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated.

Menzies handed down his decision in regard to the trial involving a 76-year-old man who was accused of taking pictures of two 15-year-old girls on Nov. 28, 2011.

Menzies convicted the man, who isn't being named to protect the identities of the girls, of one count of producing child pornography and a second count of possession of child pornography.

After reviewing the evidence, Menzies ruled the man's rights weren't violated by having him in custody longer than justified before being released by police.

He said a violation of the senior's right to contact a lawyer was a "result of miscommunication between the police and the jail authorities."

During trial, defence lawyer Philipe Richer argued his client's rights were violated following his arrest, so the charges against him should be dropped.

A Brandon Police Service officer testified in April the man was held to secure and preserve evidence until a search of his residence could be done.

Police wanted to find the photos, but ICE unit members -- experts in child porn -- weren't available until the morning after the man was arrested.

Menzies questioned the decision by Brandon police to wait for the Winnipeg-based ICE unit to travel to Brandon to secure a warrant and search the man's home.

But, Menzies said if the senior had been released earlier, "there was a very real danger" he would have returned home to "dispose of the evidence." Menzies said keeping him in custody until a search warrant was granted "was a reasonable decision."

The man's trial began in April after a former photo-shop employee testified he'd found digital pictures of the two teen girls in a self-serve photo kiosk after the man used it to make prints.

Images downloaded by customers were stored in the machines and the former employee said he found the pictures when he deleted images during routine maintenance.

The digital photos were printed and given to police.

Two women, now 18, testified that on Nov. 28, 2011, when they were both 15, the man drove them from Brandon to his trailer-park home outside the city. There, he plied them with liquor and took pictures of them bare-breasted and nude, they testified.

The man could face a minimum of one year in prison for making child pornography and a maximum of six months for possessing it.

The man will appear in court July 21.

 

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