Thursday April 17, 2014





Touching by grandfather leads to family break-up

'The victim has lost her grandfather, who was loved and trusted'

A 62-year-old who sexually touched his granddaughter broke her sense of trust, leaving her “anxious and fearful,” a provincial court judge said Friday.

The grandfather was sentenced after pleading guilty to sexual assault against his seven-year-old granddaughter. He cannot be named in order to protect the name of the girl.

The sexual assault occurred in August last year, when the girl was resting on his lap. Judge Stephen Harrison said the 62-year-old placed his hand under her clothes and touched her, “skin on skin.”

Uncomfortable with the touching, the girl got up and later reported it to her mother.

The Brocklehurst resident, a truck driver, pleaded guilty.

“The victim has lost her grandfather, who was loved and trusted,” Harrison said.

Psychological reports have found the man is at a low risk to reoffend and is not a pedophile. He cannot explain his actions to probation officials, however.

Harrison said the incident has caused the truck driver humiliation and resulted in his wife leaving him and the rest of his family ostracizing him.

A psychological report found the man has suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts since.

The Crown sought a jail term, arguing the touching  — an act that damaged the young girl’s sense of trust in authority — needs to be denounced.

But Harrison said a conditional sentence is appropriate. The federal government has since passed laws requiring jail for sexual assault.

“There’s no question conditional sentences have been imposed and upheld for offences of this nature, and worse, against a child.”

Harrison imposed a 12-month conditional sentence, including six months house arrest and two years of probation.

He is banned from contact with his daughter and granddaughter and must stay away from parks, playgrounds and schools where people under 16 years are expected to gather.


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