News

South Surrey child-porn case delayed again

Doug Bowers outside Surrey Provincial Court. - File photo
Doug Bowers outside Surrey Provincial Court.
— image credit: File photo

Douglas Bowers says he is unable to find work because of the publicity around his guilty plea to possession of child pornography and has been forced to fire his lawyer.

“I just applied for legal aid,” Bowers told Judge Michael Hicks during a Monday morning hearing in Surrey Provincial Court.

“I can no longer afford to pay an attorney.”

He asked to have his sentencing hearing postponed while he gets a new lawyer, his third since he was first charged in September 2009.

The self-employed carpenter said he had a contract to do a house, but the people who hired him backed out after news of his guilty plea broke.

“When they saw the front page, they didn’t want me any more,” Bowers said.

He said he applied for social assistance on Sept. 25, prompting Hicks to ask why Bowers didn’t come to court then, rather than wait three weeks until the day his sentencing hearing was to resume.

“This is a matter that has gone on for a long time,” Hicks said.

“It’s extremely frustrating. You’ve had time, in my view, to take steps to obtain representation.”

Crown prosecutor Keith Kinash said witnesses had come to court expecting to testify that day, and he suggested the case should go ahead.

“I would wish this matter to proceed,” Kinash said.

But because the Crown is seeking a jail term for Bowers, the judge said he was, reluctantly, granting the adjournment.

“Despite my frustration, I have to give you the opportunity to be properly represented,” Hicks told Bowers.

The hearing will resume as previously scheduled on Jan 11.

But between now and then, Hicks said Bowers will be required to make regular brief appearances in court, beginning with Tuesday, Oct. 23.

On that day, Bowers is supposed to produce a promised letter from his doctor to confirm that he was in hospital in August when he was granted an adjournment because of health issues.

The letter is also supposed to update Bowers’ current medical condition and his claim to be suffering from what he described Monday as “extremely high blood pressure.”

Bowers was charged with possessing and accessing child pornography after an  investigation that began in October 2008 led police to a man they described as a “prolific distributor of child sexual abuse images and video online.”

Following his initial guilty plea in December 2010, Bowers had told Peace Arch News he knew there was illegal material on his computer, but that it had been inadvertently downloaded while he was visiting adult-pornography websites.

The proceedings stalled last fall, when Bowers disputed an expert’s report, and again in March, when Bowers applied to withdraw his guilty plea.

He then withdrew that application five weeks later, and the sentencing hearing got underway.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Teacher strike cheques in the mail
 
Most colonoscopies on time in Fraser region despite demand surge
 
Police blitz highlights jaywalking dangers
Election 2014: White Rock candidates – top issues and platforms
 
Eviction deadline looms for homeless South Surrey couple
 
Election 2014: South Surrey ‘family group’ targets pro-gay policy
Labour consumes most new tax dollars cities collect
 
New Loblaws CityMarket caters to ‘food enthusiasts’
 
CBC fired me for sexual behaviour: Ghomeshi

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.