March 18, 2016 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - A pedophile’s indefinite prison sentence will remain in effect after a B.C. court denied his appeal this month.
In September 2014, David Bruce Jennings was convicted in Kamloops Provincial Court of sexually assaulting and touching a child under the age of 16, the last of a litany of convictions on his lengthy criminal record. Kamloops Provincial Court judge Len Marchand declared Jennings a dangerous offender because Jennings’ numerous sexual offences and behaviour towards children was ongoing for 28 years and because he resisted rehabilitation.
In his appeal, Jennings submitted that Marchand misapprehended expert evidence which suggested he was likely to re-offend and did not take his Aboriginal heritage into account when it came to rehabilitation.
In its reasons for judgment, B.C. Court of Appeal judges outlined expert evidence given by two forensic psychologists and one forensic psychiatrist. Jennings refused to participate in one psychologists’ assessment which prompted her to test the probability of recidivism from previous reports dating back to 1985. Court heard Jennings was more likely to reoffend than between 97.9 and 99.1 per cent of sex offenders.
Jennings challenged those numbers in his appeal, claiming the rate of recidivism would only be 45 per cent in a five-year time frame and it would be up to the court to prove his likelihood of reoffending beyond a reasonable doubt.
"The evidence that Mr. Jennings represented an unacceptably high risk to the community was quite overwhelming,” the appeal court said. "The evidence about the test underestimating the real risk could not be said to be material to the judge’s overall conclusion. That assessment was based on Mr. Jennings’ extensive history of sexual assaults, and numerous other factors, such as his resistance to treatment and his lack of insight into his offending behaviour."
Jennings also argued Marchand did not consider an alternative to life in prison such as Aboriginal rehabilitation programs but the judges said there was no rehabilitation program for a man like him.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016