Vernon News

Former Vernon Judo coach photoshopped himself into child pornography images

A former Vernon Judo coach charged with child pornography doctored photos of some of his former child students into pornographic images, it was revealed at the Vernon courthouse today.

Bryan McLachlan sat in the Vernon courthouse today, Nov. 4, as Crown counsel Margaret Cissell read out a list describing in detail images of child pornography the former judo coach had uploaded.

As Cissell submitted victim impact statements to the court, Judge Dennis Morgan asked whether McLachlan had read them.

“I want him to read them,” the judge said.

McLachlan sat in the courtroom reading the documents.

The court heard how the RCMP had received a report from the B.C. Integrated Child Exploitation Unit that seven different images had been uploaded from a computer registered at McLachlan's address.

Police then searched McLachlan's house seizing a home computer and cellphone. The devices contained 55 images of child pornography.

McLachlan was charged with possessing, accessing and distributing child pornography in December 2017 and pled guilty to one charge of possession and one charge of importing or distributing child pornography in June 2019.

The images contained children, some as young as five years old, performing sex acts on each other, and adults performing sex acts on children, Cissell told the court.

In one instance, McLachlan "photoshopped" himself into pornographic pictures he had taken from the Facebook pages of two girls he had previously coached at the Vernon Judo Club.

The Crown lawyer said the victims had previously described McLachlan as a "pseudo father."

"Those images he created now live and exist and will continue to do so as there is no possible way to retrieve them," Cissell told the court.

Cissell described McLachlan's actions in distributing the photos as "deliberate and callous."

Cissell argued for 12 to 18 months of jail time, followed by three years probation along with other restrictions.

Defence lawyer Nicholas Jacob argued for a 90-day jail sentence served on weekends so McLachlan could continue to work and support his wife and three children.

Jacob argued a psychiatrist report had classified McLachlan as low risk to offend again and highlighted character references from several people including McLachlan's employer and his wife.

Jacob told the court the 49-year-old was married with three children, had a university degree, and had worked for the same employer for eight years.

The court heard McLachlan was very introverted and had, at times, serious depression.

The defence lawyer said his client started drinking in 2011 after he separated from his wife and between 2011 and 2014 had a "massive" drinking problem.

"He doesn't have much recollection of what he did at this time," Jacob told the court. Jacob said he started drinking again in 2017 when his daughter became ill but stopped later that year.

The court heard the Ministry of Children and Families had become involved in the case and allowed McLachlan to be at home with his children, but wasn't allowed to stay the night at the home.

Jacob also said he had been publicly humiliated by the charges which received media attention.

The court was adjourned for Judge Morgan to decide on sentencing at a later date.

McLachlan could be seen hugging his wife at the end of the proceedings in the courtroom.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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