Court mulling whether former Chilliwack teacher is a pedophile

Chilliwack courthouse - File photo
Chilliwack courthouse
— image credit: File photo

Whether or not a former Greendale elementary school teacher is a pedophile who may one day act physically on what he saw in the thousands of pornographic images of children he shared was the subject of some discussion in Chilliwack Provincial Court last week.

The real focus, however, of the second day of a sentencing hearing for John Patrick Davy who was convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography centred around a psychological assessment to measure his risk to reoffend.

Davy was caught a year ago with more than 27,000 digital child porn images. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 19 to possession and distribution of child pornography.

Day one of his sentencing hearing was March 27, day two was April 23 and he was back in court for a continuation April 29.

Central to the second day of the hearing last Wednesday was cross- examination of Dr. Hendre Viljoen, a forensic psychologist, who produced a report for the court on Davy’s risk to reoffend.

Viljoen determined Davy is a low to moderate risk to reoffend. Davy’s lawyer Martin Finch suggested the risk should be assessed at low, but Viljoen said he included the expanded “moderate” risk because of the pure volume of images found and the fact that once arrested and released, Davy was found breaching his bail conditions in Kelowna.

Despite having been arrested, charged and released under strict conditions, Davy was found on Sept. 12, 2013 with a computer that had more than 1,000 child porn images, 321 photos of naked or partly naked children that did not meet the definition of child porn, and 668 “child-relevant” images.

Viljoen also pointed to the frequency with which Davy viewed the images.

“The recent files viewed [before his May arrest] reflect a very high level of use and does indicate behaviour Mr. Davy engages in frequently,” Viljoen said in his April 23 testimony via video from Vancouver.

Davy appeared to be in physical pain or was suffering anxiety of some kind in court as he was in near-constant motion, head mostly in his hands, often wincing, stretching and twisting in his seat. This may have been partly due to the fact that at least one family member attended the hearing.

When the 44-year-old was first arrested for possession of child pornography in May 2013 he was found head and shoulders into an attic access in his bedroom trying to hide an external hard drive.

Also seized were a laptop, computer tower and a bag with a towel and girl’s bikini inside.

“The collection contains many types of child pornography, including victims as young as two to three years old,” stated RCMP computer forensic investigator Sgt. Lorena Rostie in a report presented at the first day of Davy’s sentencing hearing on March 27.

Finch spent a good deal of time at the April 23 hearing differentiating between the different types and degrees of child porn users. Finch emphasized the differentiation between the type of sex offender who acts out urges on a pre-pubescent child and those, like Davy he argued, who simply views the images and has no real world intention or desire.

“A person can have an attraction to sexual images of children which can be viewed in the safety of a secret world and not, on the other hand, have an actual physical attraction or arousal to an actual person in the flesh,” Finch suggested to the psychologist.

“That would certainly be possible,” Viljoen responded.

Up to the time of his arrest, Davy had significant involvement with children through teaching and volunteer work, both in Canada and abroad, Crown counsel Andrea Ormiston told the court in March, adding he had travelled extensively in countries including Australia, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic, Burma, Singapore, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

Day three of the sentencing hearing was scheduled for Tuesday of this week, but a second psychologist’s report ordered by the defence was not ready.

Davy reacted with fervent nodding when his lawyer suggested to Judge Roger Cutler that he wanted to get the sentencing over with so he could access rehabilitation in custody.

Crown will ask for a sentence of two years in custody followed by three years of probation.

Davy’s hearing is expected to last at least one more day and as of press time was tentatively scheduled for the end of May.

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