May 15, 2013 - 5:27 PM
A Kelowna man caught twice peering at women changing with their young daughters will serve a 30 day jail sentence in the community.
Daniel Robert Ashton was sentenced in Kelowna Provincial Court today on two separate offences of secretely observing nudity in a private place.
Ashton was first caught by staff at Parkinson Recreation Centre when they received a complaint that Ashton was standing on a family change room bench peering down at two young girls as they dressed. Their mother said he stared at them through a crack in the door. She saw his bright blue eyes peering at them as they finished dressing. Surveillance cameras identified the man as Ashton, who returned to the pool the following day and was caught again on camera entering the women's change room for a matter of seconds.
Ashton was put on probation but it didn't stop him from committing a similar offence a few months later. He was caught crouched in front of a basement window watching a woman and her daughter getting dressed. He was confronted by the woman's husband and claimed he was tying his shoes. He also said he was in the market for rental housing and was checking out the property.
Defence lawyer Blaine Weststrate says Ashton was suffering the loss of a friend and had been feeling emotionally unstable. Judge Anne Wallace seemed unconvinced.
"I don't know why your stressor—the suicide of a friend—would come out the way it did," she said.
The offences present a number of aggravating factors.
"People wouldn't think something like this would happen in a public place," Judge Wallace said today, and just as worse, at a private residence.
Incidents like these involving young children are particularly disturbing for the victims, especially with the risk of pictures being posted on the web.
Judge Wallace was also troubled Ashton showed no expression of remorse when assessed by a psychiatrist and was deemed at high risk to re-offend.
She sentenced Ashton to a 30-day conditional sentence, which is a jail sentence served in the community. This will restrict Ashton from leaving his home without written permission from a supervisor. He will also be required to complete a sex-offender treatment program and two years of probation.
"It's important you get insight into what is causing this behavior so it never happens again," she says.
She did give Ashton credit for pleading guilty, having no prior criminal record and being a relatively young person.
"Your fiancé is still supporting you," she said.
Judge Wallace is requesting Ashton write letters of apology to both victims confirming he does not intend to cause them any further harm.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013