October 24th, 2020

Dangerous offender trial adjourned until next month


By Shurtz, Delon on February 11, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A court hearing to determine whether convicted sex offender Trevor Philip Pritchard should be designated a dangerous offender has been adjourned until next month.

The hearing, which is scheduled to run a total of three weeks, was adjourned Friday after hearing evidence from nine Crown witnesses over several days. It’s scheduled to continue March 23, and the Crown will conclude its case a week later, after calling another 11 witnesses. Defence will then begin presenting its case.

If designated a dangerous offender, Pritchard would receive an indeterminate term of imprisonment without parole eligibility for seven years.

Pritchard, who has convictions for sexually assaulting underage girls in 2004, 2009 and 2010, pleaded guilty in 2018 to sexual assault and child luring in relation to one girl. He was sentenced last February to six and a half years in a federal penitentiary.

Court was told Pritchard carefully planned the assault and, using Facebook, carefully groomed the girl to trust him over several months before he finally took her to his house – under the pretense of giving her a job – and forced her into various sex acts. He then drove her home and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

He was also found guilty in January 2019 following a trial on charges of sexual assault, luring and possession of child pornography in relation to other girls. Sentencing on those charges was adjourned pending the outcome of the dangerous-offender hearing.

During her opening statements to court at the start of the trial, Crown Prosecutor Sarah Goard-Baker said Pritchard has shown a pattern of repetitive, persistent aggressive behaviour and a failure to control sexual impulses. She said the Crown will prove Pritchard is a “significant future threat.”

Matt Kennedy, a former parole officer at Alberta’s Bowden Institution, testified last week that Pritchard was more motivated to play video games than to participate in programs aimed at helping sex offenders.

Kennedy recommended Pritchard be transferred to another facility after he breached the confidentiality of other inmates participating in a sex-offender program in which Pritchard was enrolled and because he didn’t show any improvement following his initial assessments. He also didn’t show any desire to reduce his high risk of re-offending.

The Crown is expected to call as its last witness on March 30 the psychiatrist who conducted Pritchard’s psychological assessment.

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