"I'VE DESTROYED FAMILIES. I REALIZE WHAT I'VE DONE."
KELOWNA – A man who admitted to having more than 500 images of child pornography on various computers and hard drives was sentenced to two years in jail in Kelowna Provincial Court Friday, April 10.
David Gerald Smart, 43, pleaded guilty to making and possessing child pornography in Kelowna and Cranbrook between Nov. 1, 2007 and Jan. 31, 2008.
Cranbrook RCMP arrested Smart July 2, 2008 after a search warrant was executed on his Kelowna home. Police seized a number of items including a computer tower, an external hard drive, a camera, memory stick and DVD and sent them to RCMP’s Vancouver Integrated Technological Crime Unit for analysis. Of the roughly 100,000 images searched, 581 met the RCMP’s definition of child pornography.
One image in particular appears to have been taken by Smart himself of a young girl he knew who was seated and wearing an open housecoat. Encoded data shows it was taken by the same camera seized from Smart’s home.
In a statement of facts released to media, a corporal involved in the investigation said the images from the hard drives and memory cards are primarily of young girls.
“The focus of the image is the genital area,” she testified. “Victims range from approximately seven to 12 years old. Eight of the images show an approximately eight-year-old girl being vaginally assaulted by an adult male. Only the hands of the male are seen in the images.”
According to court documents,this is not Smart's first time before the court. Although he has no criminal record, in 2010 he was charged with molesting the eight-year-old daughter of his girlfriend but acquitted because the judge found her testimony inconsistent.
Crown lawyer David Grabavac said numerous letters of support court received from members of Smart's church are of little importance compared with the opinions of professionals who classified Smart as having a moderate to high risk of reoffence.
“All (the church members have) seen is what Mr. Smart has let them see,” he said. “Religious organizations have had more than their share of sex offenders as congregants. I accept they are hoping, that’s what they do, they see the best in people, but they are not medically trained… and very little weight should be given. They see what they want to see.”
Judge Robin Smith gave Smart credit for eight months served awaiting sentencing plus an additional 16 months in provincial jail followed by three years of probation. His name will also be added to the National Sex Offender Registry.
“There’s no doubt in my mind I’ve created a lot of damage," Smart told the court after the sentence was delivered. "I’ve destroyed families. I realize what I’ve done.”
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