August 13, 2013 - 5:25 PM
PENTICTON - A judge here said he hopes a man convicted of luring a child online can get his life back on track and gave him a conditional sentence suggested by the defence and Crown lawyers.
Stephen Robert Carl Hughes, 36, was given one-year house arrest in Summerland with conditions that will allow him to work and continue his counseling. Hughes was also ordered to spend time with other adults so as to better his mental condition which was a factor leading to his depression and later conviction, Judge Gale Sinclair said.
Sinclair and defence lawyer Emmet Duncan said Hughes is unlikely to offend again.
Duncan said his client was immediately regretful the day he was arrested two years ago. Hughes was busted for attempting to lure a child through online conversations but the child was in fact an undercover officer.
Duncan said his client owned up to his crime and is aware he was the primary cause of his marriage's implosion. Relatives and a few friends wrote to the courts in support of Hughes. Some wrote his crime was very out-of-character and even his employer was supportive and plans to keep Hughes on staff.
"As your honour remarked, he got carried away and went over the line. Lesson learned," Duncan said. "I don't (even) think this man will jay walk again."
Sinclair echoed the defence. "Have a nice life and good luck to you sir."
As part of his house arrest Hughes is also not allowed to use a computer or email service unless supervised and only for work. He is also not allowed near children under 16 years of age unless encountered at work but he is permitted to spend time with the children of certain close relatives. He will supply a DNA sample and be listed on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.
Following his house arrest he will be on probation for a year with less strict conditions and he'll be free to travel out of the province.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013