Monday September 01, 2014

Breach charge should be stayed on technicality, defence argues

A Kamloops lawyer wants a breach charge against his client dismissed, arguing probation orders requiring him to undergo sex-offender treatment were “vague and arbitrary.”

Defence lawyer Richard Begin said Mark Quesnelle attended the Kamloops Adult Forensics Clinic as instructed by his probation officer. His probation order, however, did not stipulate that he undergo an assessment, only that he must successfully complete a treatment program.

Quesnelle, who had been convicted of sexual interference, was charged with a breach, a potentially serious violation of his probation terms that could send him back to prison.

Probation officer Aaron Kidd testified that it’s not possible to enter a sex-offender treatment program without undergoing an assessment. He made it clear to Quesnelle that refusal would result in a breach charge.

“Mr. Quesnelle told me he would not go to sex-offender treatment program because he’s not guilty of his crimes,” Kidd said.

Begin maintained that his client refused to attend the assessment, not the program, and that he’s been compliant otherwise.

Prosecutor Kate Bouchard argued court orders must be followed even if they are flawed.

The judge adjourned the case to consider the arguments.

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