VANCOUVER – A Crown lawyer says a B.C. man who served time in a Thai prison for abusing two boys should be sentenced to up to six months in jail after he admitted possessing a device that gave him access to the Internet.
Christopher Neil was deported to Canada in 2012, when he was immediately placed under conditions designed to protect children, including a ban on owning devices such as a laptop.
Crown counsel Gerri-Lyn Nelson told court that Neil, who pleaded guilty last fall to violating his conditions, had four devices including a laptop, cell phones and an e-reader.
She says the Crown wants a jail sentence of between five and six months, followed by three years of probation.
The 39-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C., became notoriously known as “Swirl Face” after his face was digitally obscured in images that showed him abusing children, for which he was arrested in Bangkok in 2007.
He was arrested this past March and charged with 10 offences related to child sex tourism and child pornography.
Neil has pleaded guilty to breaching strict conditions, which were placed on him in 2012, after returning to B.C. from a Thai jail.
Crown says the biggest concern regarding the breach is that Neil was caught with two cellphones, a laptop and a Kindle e-reader.
Neil claims the laptop was for writing about his experience in the Thai jail.
Neil says he needed access to the internet to tell his story. He claims he didn’t go near kids at all.
– with files from Rumina Daya, Global News
© Shaw Media, 2014