A man will spend 18 months behind bars after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor on Vancouver Island.
Wayne Robert Smith, 55, was charged with sexual interference of a person under 16, sexual assault and telecommunicating to lure a child under 18. The incidents occurred in Parksville in the summer of 2016. Smith was sentenced by Judge Brian Harvey in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday, with Frank Dubenski, Crown counsel, and Kelly Bradshaw, Smith’s counsel, agreeing on a joint submission.
During sentencing it was revealed that the charges stem from Smith’s interactions with a girl, 15 years old at the time, whose identity is protected. There were two acts of sexual intercourse and subsequently Smith sent sexually suggestive text messages.
Bradshaw told the court Smith regrets his actions very much, accepts full responsibility and his priority has been to make amends. He felt it was a period of weakness and believed, in his mind, that there was mutual attraction. Smith didn’t have a prior criminal record, Bradshaw said, is willing to undergo counselling, and a report suggested he was at a low risk to re-offend.
When Harvey asked if he had anything to say to the court, Smith tearfully said he was sorry.
Harvey told Smith he let a lot of people down and it was something he would have to deal with for the rest of his life. He said joint submissions are to be given significant weight and said Smith should consider himself fortunate that the judge followed the recommended 18-month sentence.
Harvey said the circumstances were quite aggravated, but he also considered the mitigation of Smith’s expression of remorse, guilty pleas and the fact the complainant was spared from having to testify.
Following Smith’s incarceration, he will be placed on two years’ probation. He is to have no contact with the victim or be within 200 metres of any school or residence or workplace she is at.
Having consented, Smith must also successfully complete a psychiatric intake, assessment, counselling and treatment program in relation to sexual offending behaviours, to the satisfaction of his probation officer.
Smith had requested serving his time at Nanaimo Correctional Centre, but Harvey said that would be up to B.C. Corrections to decide.