September 25, 2014 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS – With a lengthy criminal history including five sexual offenses, most of which were against children, a Kamloops Provincial Court judge labelled a convicted pedophile as a dangerous offender and gave him an indeterminate jail sentence Thursday morning.
After reviewing the extensive criminal history of David Bruce Jennings, 51, Provincial Court Judge Len Marchand determined in order for Jennings to rehabilitate and protect the public he was required to jail Jennings in a federal prison.
“(He has) nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Marchand said, referring to the prison’s several sex offender rehabilitation programs.
The label of dangerous offender in the criminal justice system is reserved for offenders who are at a high risk of reoffending, either violently or sexually. Once criminals are labelled as a dangerous offender, prison time can be indefinite. The prisoner has no chance of parole for seven years.
In past sittings of Jennings’ hearing, he told the court he did not remember committing his offences against children in the 80s and 90s. While it was determined Jennings has a low-functioning mental capacity, Marchand noted several inconsistencies in his testimony.
“I have placed no weight on his testimony,” he said.
In the past 30 years, Jennings’ sexual offences have been against both boys and girls in Alberta and British Columbia, the youngest being a three-year-old girl. Jennings gained access to children by befriending families through volunteer groups, churches or offering to babysit. He continually breached probation orders by loitering near children and having contact with them.
Included in Jennings’ history of breaches was when he befriended a 13-year-old boy. The two worked together at the Salvation Army in Kamloops.
Marchand mentioned other concerns which came from a probation officer who testified Jennings’ apartment was decorated like a child’s room and filled with stuffed animals.
Jennings’ latest conviction stems from a 2011 incident when he sexually molested a boy in a rural area near Kamloops.
In his decision, Marchand reviewed Jennings’ past and noted his “lonely and unstable childhood,” which Jennings’ said involved emotional, physical and sexual abuse. In the past, when he was questioned on it, Marchand said Jennings did not comment further and mentioned it was “quite in-depth and personal.”
Marchand said Jennings is an untreated pedophile and commented on his minimal progress to seek help. For several years, Jennings took medication to control his sexual impulses, but stopped taking it in 2004 after he began to grow breasts, a side effect which required surgery.
Before escorted from the courtroom, Jennings asked to speak with Marchand and inquired about filing an appeal. The judge instructed him to consult with his lawyer.
“I believe I do have some human rights,” Jennings said.
-With files from Canadian Press
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014