The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

A man, previously convicted of possessing child pornography, will be sentenced June 27 for sexually assaulting a girl, beginning when she was four years old, taking pictures and posting them online.

Stephen Mark Castleden pleaded guilty last December to possessing, making and importing child pornography, as well as the sexual assault. Nick Barber, Crown counsel, and James Wright, made submissions to Judge R.D. Miller as the sentencing hearing began at provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday.

Images of the victim, a girl whose identity is protected, were uploaded to a Russian website and the incidents took place over five years.

After being notified by police in Queensland, Australia, Const. Shane Coubrough, a Nanaimo RCMP officer specializing in child pornography and sexual abuse files, obtained and executed a search warrant on May 9, 2018. Castleden was arrested and “pre-search photographs” of the house were taken, which included rooms seen in some of the pornographic material.

Five devices seized had child pornography on them, said Coubrough. They included two Blackberry cellphones, a laptop and two USB drives. Bags of underwear were found which was something that Castleden used to “pleasure himself with,” Coubrough testified.

Among pictures and video showed to the court were depictions of Castleden performing sexual acts with the victim. Some showed the victim hiding her face in her shirt. On the five devices were 1,226 images of child porn and 681 videos, with 27 images and two videos of the victim.

Wright didn’t excuse the actions of his client, but said his client was dealing with stress from the death of his father and losing his wife. He has been receiving counselling in jail, Wright said.

The grandfather of the victim testified about the impact of Castleden’s actions, stating a once affectionate girl is now subdued and cries herself to sleep.

Barber seeks a sentence of between eight to 10 years in jail, while Wright seeks between six to eight years. Barber said Castleden has credit for 606 days of time served.

Castleden received a 30-day jail sentence in Surrey in 2012 for possession of child pornography.


The Nanaimo News Bulletin is also available on Facebook and Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Greater Victoria woman creates ‘call list’ for seniors to tackle loneliness

Call list allows seniors to have some friendly conversation during isolating times

Report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

Saanich’s Shelbourne corridor work set to start despite pandemic

Municipal work is deemed an essential service, keeping the long-term project on track

Royal Athletic Park will not be a shelter site during COVID-19 crisis: Victoria mayor

Indoor sites to be coordinated with Island Health, BC Housing

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Most Read