Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Crown drops child porn charges

Brandon Court House

BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Brandon Court House

A child porn trial came to a sudden and dramatic end on Monday with a defence lawyer suggesting the material was planted on his client’s computer.

During cross-examination, defence lawyer Richard Wolson quoted an email that he suggested was written to his client by his angry wife. It suggests that she and friends had conspired to place material on the computer, he said.

"That’s true, isn’t it?" Wolson asked the woman.

"I don’t remember ever saying anything like that," she replied.

"No, but you did it. You did it, you put stuff on the computer. You did that."

"No I didn’t."

As a defence lawyer, Wolson didn’t have to prove that the child porn was planted on the computer. He just had to demonstrate a reasonable doubt about whether his client was responsible for it.

Following the exchange, Crown attorney Ron Toews told Justice John Menzies that the charges were dropped.

It all happened in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday as a 38-year-old man began his trial on charges of possessing and accessing child porn.

Court documents show that police found 35 child porn images and three child porn videos on a desktop computer taken from his home office.

The images largely depicted nude or partially nude girls ranging in age from six to 16 years. At least two of videos showed males having sex with girls.

The Brandon Sun isn’t naming the man or his former wife. Naming him would tarnish his reputation when the charges were ultimately dropped — naming her would smear her over Wolson’s allegations, which she denies and weren’t proven in court.

The ex-wife was the sole witness to take the stand.

She described how she and her husband were living in their Westman home in mid-September 2006 when she spotted an email on her husband’s computer that led her to believe he was having an affair.

She decided to end the relationship with her husband of five years, and left the home with her 10-year-old son to stay with a pair of friends — taking the desktop computer with her.

One of her friends figured out the password to get access to the computer, and the ex and her friends searched it for further evidence of cheating.

They found three videos on the machine. The ex testified that she watched part of one and recalled there was a "little kid" in it, although she couldn’t remember the gender or what the child was doing in the movie.

She said she switched off the computer and took it to RCMP. Police received the machine five to six days after the woman took it from her home.

The trial took a dramatic turn when the witness, since divorced from the accused, was cross-examined by Wolson.

He suggested his client had been "mooching" off his ex-wife, who confirmed she was doing more than her fair share by working two jobs and running the house.

Her husband was unemployed for some time before he got a job in Brandon and began a home-based computer repair business.

The email she’d found was graphic — in it, the mistress describes for her lover how he can practise to be better in bed. The wife had also previously found nude pictures of her husband’s girlfriend.

With her husband’s computer in hand, Wolson suggested that the wife was so angry, she sent a copy of the email to all of the people in her husband’s contact list — including his customers.

Wolson also quoted from an angry email which he suggested the ex-wife had sent her husband’s lover the day she left, and from an online chat which he suggested the ex or her friends had with one of the husband’s buddies: "Just wait, he’ll be on the front page of the Brandon Sun before you know it."

Wolson saved the most damning material for last — he quoted from an email that he suggested was sent by the wife to her husband.

"Look at this … I’ve got access to your email account … To think this isn’t the first time I’ve gone on your computer ... You should see the things we found to download on your computer … I’m making sure as I’m typing this that you will go to jail and not see the light of day. I hope you rot … You’ve been mooching off me for too long and I’m sick of it … (my friend) and I are going to play with your computer and see what else we can put on it."

The ex-wife said she didn’t recall sending the email from her husband’s mistress out to his contacts, or recall sending the email to her husband’s mistress. She said she also didn’t remember the online chat, and denied writing the above email to her husband.

But the damage to the case was done.

Following court, Toews wouldn’t specify why the decision was made to drop the charges.

But Menzies would have had to weigh the credibility of the witness on the stand as part of his deliberation.

In court proceedings, there’s a legal obligation on the Crown to disclose the findings of an investigation to defence counsel. However, that rule doesn’t go both ways and Toews said he wasn’t aware of the material quoted by Wolson until he heard it at trial.

Despite that, Toews said he believed that the ex-wife had acted in good faith. He won’t ask the RCMP to investigate her based on Wolson’s questioning, as there was no evidence that the child porn had been planted on the computer.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @IanHitchen

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 29, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

A child porn trial came to a sudden and dramatic end on Monday with a defence lawyer suggesting the material was planted on his client’s computer.

During cross-examination, defence lawyer Richard Wolson quoted an email that he suggested was written to his client by his angry wife. It suggests that she and friends had conspired to place material on the computer, he said.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

A child porn trial came to a sudden and dramatic end on Monday with a defence lawyer suggesting the material was planted on his client’s computer.

During cross-examination, defence lawyer Richard Wolson quoted an email that he suggested was written to his client by his angry wife. It suggests that she and friends had conspired to place material on the computer, he said.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Election 2014
Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media