Porn plea reversed again
A South Surrey man who went to court to withdraw his guilty plea on charges of possessing child pornography announced Monday he is withdrawing his application.
Douglas Wayne Bowers made the change before Judge Michael Hicks in Surrey Provincial Court. It means his original guilty plea – entered in December 2010 – stands, and sentencing will proceed.
“It can be dismissed with prejudice, by consent,” Bowers’ lawyer, Robert Doran, told the court. “Those are his instructions to me.”
Bowers, a carpenter, was charged in September 2009 with possessing and accessing child pornography, after an investigation by the RCMP’s Integrated Child Exploitation Team led investigators to a man they called a “prolific distributor of child sexual abuse images and video online.”
While a teenaged B.C. victim was identified, police found no indication Bowers was involved in the production of child pornography.
Bowers pleaded guilty to the possession charge shortly before his three-day trial was scheduled to begin Dec. 13, 2010. At the time, he told Peace Arch News he accidentally downloaded child porn while visiting adult-pornography websites, and that he was pleading guilty on the advice of his lawyer, who at the time was Gordon Welock.
A sentencing hearing set at that time was postponed after Bowers objected to a pre-sentence report that said he deliberately downloaded the illegal porn. He applied to withdraw his guilty plea March 21, and the application was scheduled to be heard April 30.
Monday, Hicks asked Bowers to confirm his intent to proceed to sentencing.
“You’re not pursuing that application… and the guilty plea stands,” the judge said said.
Bowers responded, “Correct” to each statement.
Lawyers for the case estimated three days would be needed for the sentencing hearing.
Noting the case has been ongoing for nearly three years, Doran suggested the parties appear two to three weeks ahead of whatever hearing date is set, to ensure everything is “on course.”
The dates were not set by Peace Arch News press deadline Monday.