The justice system in this province needs some serious work. For proof of that you need only look at one case this week in provincial court in Sechelt that has us questioning the sentence handed down to a father who molested his 10-year-old daughter.
The man, a former resident of the Sunshine Coast now living in the Lower Mainland, was originally charged with both sexual assault and sexual interference with a person under 14. He agreed to a plea bargain and had to plead guilty to only the sexual interference charge.
This is a most heinous crime. The young child, who thankfully has been taken away from this monster, is now in foster care. We can't imagine the emotional trauma she has had to endure. You would expect that someone who would steal the innocence of a child would receive a stiff sentence. Guess again. The father was sentenced to two years of probation.
He also has a no contact order with his daughter during that time and can't be in the presence of children under 16 or hang out in parks or school yards without another responsible adult.
Crown counsel Trevor Cockfield argued that this case cries out for a stiffer jail sentence of six to nine months. We have to agree with Cockfield on this one.
This sentence, in our opinion, is like a slap on the wrist. Defence argued that the father has been punished enough because he lost custody of his daughter. The lawyer also said she was abused by others and that her client touched her only once - but that was one time too many.
We know defense lawyers are paid to defend their clients, but that statement is ludicrous.
Isn't the criminal justice system suppose to fight for people's rights? Where is the justice for this innocent little girl whose life has been turned upside down by this man? He should be in jail.
Our governments have to stand up and start changing these laws. These types of sentences are appalling and serve the best interests of no one.