Two weeks jail for accessing child porn in Port Alice

Judge says David Morgan endured two years of "hell" in Port Alice after being arrested for accessing child porn on a computer at work.

  • Mar. 31, 2011 8:00 p.m.

PORT ALICE – David Morgan will add 14 days in jail to the two years of  “hell” he has endured since being charged with accessing child pornography on a computer at work.

Judge Brian Saunderson made the ruling Mar. 30 in Port Hardy Provincial Court. The minimum sentence for accessing child pornography is 14 days in jail. The maximum is 18 months.

Morgan was charged in 2009 after an employee at Neucel Specialty Cellulose discovered four pages of paper depicting 51 pornographic images of pre-teen girls on a company printer April 20, 2009, Crown Counsel Leslie Fillingham told the court. The employee turned the pages over to the company who notified Port Alice RCMP.

A special technical unit of the RCMP was called in to investigate.

The mill was on a shutdown at the time, with only a skeleton crew working, so it did not take long to narrow down the computer and the employee who was browsing the internet for the images.

“Mr. Morgan was one of two supervisors with access to the computer,” said Fillingham. “It (accessing the images online) was discovered to be while Mr. Morgan was on shift. The computer was in a supervisor’s trailer. Police received a warrant to put surveillance cameras in that trailer to see who was browsing,” said Fillingham. “They switched out the hard drive so the computer could be accessed remotely.”

Over a two-week time period video evidence was collected of Morgan viewing child pornography.

“He would go to the supervisor’s trailer and masterbate three or four times in a shift while looking at child and other pornography,” said Fillingham, noting Morgan, a father and grandfather, was not involved in the creation of the images, only viewing them online. As well, while Morgan admitted to accessing and viewing the images, he remains adamant that he did not print the four pages found on the printer at Neucel.

Fillingham described the images as in the “lower end” of the range of child pornography.

“The images depicted girls aged six to 10 in sexually suggestive poses,” said Fillingham. “The children were not engaged in sexual acts and there were no adults in the images.”

Morgan plead guilty to the charge of accessing child pornography and has been undergoing treatment for sex offenders since his arrest in 2009. A pre-sentence and psychological report said Morgan, is remorseful for his actions and has benefitted significantly from treatment and counselling. But while trying to deal with his condition, Morgan has also endured the ire of the community, said his lawyer Al Garvey.

“This is a Port Alice case … there has been more than the average amount of hostility and aggression toward Mr. Morgan and his wife,” said Garvey. “To a certain degree you are going to be shunned by your community but Port Alice goes far beyond that.” McGarvey outlined how Morgan and his wife, 30-year residents of Port Alice, have been shunned and threatened by the community. Morgan was fired from his job at the mill and resigned as a paramedic with the B.C. Ambulance Service.

“Mr. Morgan has faced the people day in and day out … faced the music,” said McGarvey. “Mr. Morgan has had stringent restrictions on his freedom for two years. He has taken his conditions seriously.He has been candid in discussing his actions … and is very sorry for his actions.”

McGarvey said the pre-sentence report indicates the risk level for Morgan to sexually reoffend is low if he continues treatment.

Both lawyers agreed the penalty should be closer to the minimum given the mild nature of the images, but they disagreed on the terms of Morgan’s probation.

Crown counsel wanted Morgan prohibited from being present in a public park or place where children under the age of 16 are reasonably expected to be present. But McGarvey did not think it was necessary.

In his judgement, Judge Saunderson agreed with the defense.

“The defendant has been “completely candid … and feels great shame and is remorseful fro what he did,” said the judge during sentencing. “He has been publicly vilified, shunned and sometimes threatened. Mr. Morgan has gone through hell for the last two years for his sin. To her great credit, his wife has helped him deal with his addiction.”

Saunderson then turned his comments to Morgan.

“Your wife is a remarkable woman,” said Saunderson. “I hope you understand Mr. Morgan that she is one in a million.”

In addition to 14 days in jail, Morgan will be on probation for two years during which time internet access is prohibited  and viewing of any pornography by any means prohibited. Morgan may not be in the company of a child under the age of 16 without another adult present, he may not work or volunteer with children under age 16 and he must participate in treatment and provide a DNA sample.

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