By Herald on December 10, 2020.
A convicted sex offender often contradicted himself when discussing his sex offences; sometimes admitting his crimes and other times denying them, a psychiatrist testified Wednesday in Trevor Philip Pritchard’s dangerous offender hearing.
Dr. David Tano, a forensic psychiatrist with the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary, said Pritchard would talk about his offences and admit committing them, and explain that he felt connected to younger people because they were less judgmental. Then later he would deny the offences, and once even said a previous lawyer pressured him into pleading guilty.
He pleaded guilty in 2018 to sexual assault and child luring in relation to an underage girl, and he was sentenced in February of last year 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.
Pritchard was also found guilty in January 2019 following a trial on charges of sexual assault, luring and possession of child pornography in relation to several underage girls. Sentencing on those charges was adjourned, however, pending the outcome of the dangerous-offender hearing being held this week in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench.
The Crown is attempting to have Pritchard designated a dangerous offender, which would keep him in custody for an indeterminate amount of time without parole eligibility for seven years. The Crown maintains Pritchard has shown a pattern of repetitive, persistent aggressive behaviour and a failure to control sexual impulses, which indicates he is a “significant future threat.”
Pritchard also has convictions for sexually assaulting underage girls from 2004, 2009 and 2010.
Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette is opposing the Crown’s bid for a dangerous offender designation. He suggested Wednesday that Tano, one of the Crown’s expert witnesses, is not qualified to provide expert opinion evidence on various aspects of the case.
The Crown is expected to conclude its case today following testimony from its second witness, a social worker who was also part of the team of experts who participated in Pritchard’s assessments. The dangerous offender hearing, which includes Pritchard’s sentencing hearing, is scheduled to conclude this week.
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