December 01, 2014 - 6:15 PM
Roy O’Donaghey will serve nine months in prison for two acts of indecent exposure in 2011.
O’Donaghey faced Penticton court judge Gregory Koturbash for his sentencing hearing Monday morning, following a lengthy trial.
O’Donaghey was arrested in 2011 for two counts of exposing his genitals to persons under 16, first to one boy on June 28, 2011, and then on Aug.19, 2011. Both events took place in Keremeos.
Crown Prosecutor Catherine Crockett presented court with a pre-sentence and psychiatric report, as well as a victim impact statement. She expressed concerns to the court about O’Donaghey’s tendency to deny the charges against him, in addition to taking no responsibility for the events. She also questioned the prospect of O’Donaghey willingly attending counselling as well.
“He believes it unnecessary,” she said, “he expresses no remorse.”
Crockett also noted O’Donaghey placed in the “low average” for intellectual function, adding that a risk assessment on him to re-offend placed him in the low to moderate category.
"If his age (60) isn’t taken into consideration,” she explained, “he would be risk assessed in the moderate to high range."
In her submission of victim impact statements, Crockett noted that one victim’s family had to relocate to avoid O’Donaghey.
“This had been very troubling in the Keremeos area,” she said.
Crockett also argued for a lengthy probation period, citing protection of the public. She asked for a three-year probation order.
Defence counsel James Pennington argued for a conditional sentence, saying O’Donaghey was subjected to threats and has since moved from Keremeos. He also cited financial conditions as a reason against incarceration, noting O’Donaghey functioned at a borderline intellectual level and suffered from medical issues.
Noting the defendant’s previous two convictions for sexual offences which took place 19 and 11 years ago, Pennington argued the “gap principle,” saying the long interval between offences was also a mitigating factor.
Courtroom proceedings were briefly interrupted when O’Donaghey, who asked if he had anything to say, came forward with a piece of paper he said was his birth certificate. He claimed the name on court documents indicated his middle name to be Charles, but in reality his name was simply Roy O’Donaghey. He expressed concern that his name might be confused with someone else’s.
Crockett agreed to have O'Donaghey's name amended.
O’Donaghey also told the court he was unprepared for sentencing, saying if he was sent to jail, his wife would have no income because his disability payments would stop.
“I thought it was a hearing,” he said, “I wasn’t expecting to be sentenced today. I’d like to have time to get my stuff together.”
Koturbash noted O’Donaghey’s rough childhood, his disability and his medical conditions, stating his criminal record must be considered in the decision. He noted the long gap between O’Donaghey's previous convictions, but said O’Donaghey’s resistance to counselling made the lengthy gap between incidents less of a mitigating circumstance.
Judge Koturbash also found it “very concerning for the court” that O’Donaghey continued to show lack of remorse, insisting the boys “conspired against him.” He noted O’Donaghey’s “bleak prospects for rehabilitation.”
The justice also pointed at O’Donaghey’s troubled childhood, and the abuse he suffered as a child, saying O’Donaghey should have learned to do better from his own unsavoury experiences as a child.
“It is difficult to say he is not a real risk to the community,” said the judge.
O’Donaghey was sentenced to a total of nine months in prison for two counts of exposing genitals for sexual purposes to persons under the age of 16, in addition to three years probation. He will also have to provide a DNA sample as well as have his name placed on the sex offenders registry.
In addition to a long list of restrictions tied to his probation, he also faces a 10-year prohibition restricting him from places where people under the age of 16 might be.
“This provides significant protection to the public element,” Crockett said. “Our goal is to restrict his movement where kids are as well as his contact with kids. Our primary goals are to protect the public in addition to providing a rehabilitation element.”
One of the victim’s mothers expressed tearful relief following the verdict.
“Now my son can move on,” she said, “I’m satisfied. I’m looking forward to telling him the verdict."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014