Former B.C. university employee changes plea to guilty in child pornography case

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KAMLOOPS, B.C. - The former director of graduate studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Andrew McKay appeared in provincial court in Salmon Arm on Tuesday without his lawyer to change his plea to guilty.

Court heard that on May 12, 2014, in Kamloops, McKay was found in the possession of child porn.

Crown lawyer Bill Hilderman said the wait for a risk-assessment report could delay sentencing up to six weeks.

Judge Mayland McKimm asked McKay why his defence lawyer was not in court.

“It has been devastating on my career, family and marriage and I’m eager to deal with it directly,” McKay said.

“It also has been financially devastating. Because today’s appearance is to change my plea, frankly, to save a bit of expense, I wanted to appear on my own."

McKimm tried to establish that McKay understood the ramifications of changing his plea.

“I absolutely understand the short- and long-term circumstances and giving up my right to trial,” McKay said. “It’s not in any way (that) I don’t know what I’m doing.”

While the judge said a lawyer might wish to investigate different avenues of defence, McKay said he wanted to expedite the process for the sake of his family.

“I understand,” McKimm said. “I’m giving you 100 per cent credit for that.”

A pre-sentence report with a psychological and psychiatric component will be sought for McKay.

The next court date is Oct. 13, when a date will be set for sentencing. 


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