News

Jennings found guilty of sexually assaulting boy

David Bruce Jennings, a convicted pedophile who arrived in Kamloops more than a year ago with a warning from police he was at high risk to re-offend, has been found guilty of sexual interference of a person under 16.

He is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 28 to fix a date for sentencing.

A pre-sentence report, which will include a psychiatric assessment, was ordered by Judge Stephen Harrison.

Because one charge arose from the other, Harrison ordered a conditional stay on a second charge of sexual assault.

Jennings was charged after a pre-teen boy recognized a photo of Jennings in a social worker’s office and identified him as the man he knew as his Uncle Dave, a friend of his mother who did odd jobs around the house.

At the time, the boy did not tell the worker anything, but later told another adult that Uncle Dave had fondled him.

During his court testimony, given by videolink, the boy was uncertain about when the assault happened, but the charges identify March 2012.

Crown prosecutor Joel Gold, in making final submissions to Judge Stephen Harrison on Tuesday, Jan. 15, said despite the boy’s young age — from his testimony, it was unclear if the boy was seven or eight when the touching occurred —he had been clear in identifying Jennings as the man he knew as Uncle Dave and that it was Jennings who had touched him and had threatened to hurt him if he told anyone.

In his summation, defence lawyer Murray Armstrong questioned the boy’s credibility.

Armstrong noted that, when showing the photo of Jennings that had run in a newspaper, a social worker and a counsellor had both told the boy Jennings was “a bad person who touched kids,” which Armstrong said might have influenced the boy.

In countering the argument, Gold told Harrison the boy was told by the adults in the office about Jenning’s history, “but nothing indicated it led this boy to create a story.”

In October 2011, Jennings was the subject of a provincial warning that he was a high-risk, untreated sex offender living in Kamloops.

He has a criminal history including sexual offences against boys and girls, as well as failing to comply with conditions ordering him to have no contact with children.

At that time, police said his method of operating is to befriend families with children. His target group is children between the ages of three and 11.

Jennings was sentenced in May 1999 for assaulting a nine-year-old Kamloops girl.

He was convicted in Alberta in 1992 of the sexual interference of a four-year-old girl.

He was convicted again in Alberta in 1996 of the sexual inference of a five-year-old boy.

 

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