BREAKING: Child pornography charges against alleged Vernon arsonist tossed
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September 27, 2017 - 10:31 AM
VERNON - A Vernon man has been acquitted of all child pornography charges after a judge ruled police did not obtain the evidence legally.
William Murray Phelps Munton, born in 1961, was charged with three counts related to child pornography after police investigated and charged him with a number of arsons in the North Okanagan.
Supreme Court Justice Hope Hyslop said the evidence police obtained from Munton’s computer, phone and a CD were not admissible, in part because of information that was left out of the RCMP’s application for a search warrant. Hyslop made her decision after hearing legal arguments from Crown and defence this week.
Without the images found in Munton’s possession, Crown counsel Jeremy Guild said there was no case. Hyslop acquitted Munton of two counts of making or publishing child pornography and one count of possession.
Guild declined to comment on behalf of the Crown following the proceedings. Munton’s lawyer, Julian van der Walle, said “we think the judge’s decision is eminently reasonable, and we’re happy with the result.”
Munton is also charged with more than a dozen arsons and was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary inquiry in June.
— This story was updated at 4:13 p.m. Sept. 27, 2017 to say Munton was born in 1961.
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