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Burin Peninsula man changes plea in child-luring case


A Burin Peninsula man will be sentenced in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Grand Bank on March 28 for unlawfully luring a child under the age of 16 by means of a computer system.

Justice

The man had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge and three others, which were all filed in early 2015.

The other charges – two counts of uttering threats and one of inviting a person under 14 years of age to touch him for a sexual purpose – are on hold and will be dealt with at the sentencing.

The man had initially elected to be tried by a judge and jury on all charges, and in October 2016 Justice Garrett Handrigan scheduled an eight-day trial for Feb. 6-15.

On Jan. 26, the man changed his mind and decided to be tried by judge alone.

A re-arraignment was held on Feb. 17 where the man changed his plea as part of a joint submission agreed upon by his lawyer and the Crown attorney.

The man had also applied to the Supreme Court on Nov. 15, 2016 to stay proceedings on the charges.

His argument was based on an infringement of his right to be tried in a reasonable time as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Handrigan dismissed the application on Jan. 4 writing in his decision the delay of just under two years “is below the presumptive ceiling of 30 months for this Court so the onus is on (the defendant) to prove on a balance of probabilities that the delay is unreasonable.”

Handrigan said the man had not done so, adding, “ … in any event, the time the matter will take to final resolution is not markedly excessive.”

A publication restriction on the case prevents publishing any information that would identify the complainant.

pherridge@southerngazette.ca

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