Pater punished over porn

Shaun Pater of Port Alberni has been sentenced after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Serial pedophile Shaun Pater was sentenced in Port Alberni court Tuesday after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography and breaching conditions of his probation.

He was spotted at the Walmart photo lab in Port Alberni on New Year’s Eve, printing out photos from a memory stick.

Employees recognized him from media coverage of his two previous sexual offense convictions, and went into a back office where a separate computer monitor displayed the images being processed.

Crown prosecutor Gordon Baines said three of the pictures were of a young female’s genitalia and two other photos were of young girls Pater, 34, had been associating with while on probation.

Walmart employees called police, who found Pater driving away from Walmart with his brother.

When police pulled over the vehicle, Pater said he turned to his brother and said “I’m going back to jail”.

Pater told police the sexual images had been texted to him by another pedophile he had met in jail. “I shouldn’t have printed it off, eh,” he was reported to have said to one of the police investigators.

Pater sat in the prisoner’s box Tuesday morning (May 12, 2015), listening to Crown Counsel listing charges and events that led up to the offenses.

He sat nervously, occasionally glancing towards the people in the gallery, wearing a red t-shirt with VIRCC (Vancouver Island Correctional Center) on the back. His previously boyish bowl cut now replaced by long, shoulder length blonde hair curled out at the bottom.

Judge Ted Gouge admitted he was very familiar with Pater’s case, having recently agreed to relax probation conditions allowing him to attend family Christmas dinners with underage relatives. Gouge had also made a previous order to prevent media from publishing Shaun Pater’s name, as it was having a negative effect on his young son at school.

Gouge took the rare step of addressing reporters in the gallery directly, noting there would be no publication bans whatsoever in this case.

He sentenced Pater to nine months on the child pornography charge, and a further three months for breaching probation. He was given credit for time served since his arrest at time-and-a-half, which equaled six months and 20 days.

He was ordered to stay away from all children under the age of 16, except his son, and to not access the Internet through computer, phone, or any other device for five years.

“I thought it was an appropriate sentence,” said defense attorney Bobby Movassaghi. “There was a lot of time put into it by defense and the Crown.”

“There will always be people who think that no time is enough time for offenders like Mr. Pater,” said Baines. “We have to seek sentences that are consistent with those imposed by judges in other cases. We can’t go in excess of that just because we have strong feelings towards the offender or the offenses that they’ve committed,” he said. “It’s important to note that why these cases came to light is because of prior media coverage. The importance of these offenses being reported upon can’t be emphasized enough.”

When given an opportunity to address the court directly, Pater said “I feel bad for my family, for my son who was unable to attend school for two weeks after the story came out in the paper”.

Baines said Pater’s lack of remorse towards his victims “speaks for itself”.

Once released from jail, Pater will not be required to take any counselling, since previous psychological assessments have noted his low intelligence have made him untreatable, despite his “high risk to re-offend sexually with underage females”.

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