C.B.N. man convicted of child abuse

Nicholas Mercer
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Acquitted of some charges

A Conception Bay North man accused of abusing his children has been convicted on eight charges.

At provincial court in Harbour Grace Friday, Judge Jacqueline Brazil found the man guilty on seven charges of unlawful forcible confinement and one charge of contributing to wilfully contributing to a child being in need of protective intervention.

He cannot be identified to protect the identities of his children.

Their mother was previously convicted of 20 counts of child abuse.

In her verdict, Brazil said that while some children may have seen their father as an ally, he was a “weak parent.”

“The evidence has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the children were in need of protection,” said the judge.

The man was acquitted on charges of corrupting children and invitation to sexual touching.

Brazil said there were inconsistencies in the statements provided by the children.

“The charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said. “It is fragile evidence.”

As Brazil read her decision, the man’s eyes rarely left her. He appeared relaxed, with his legs crossed and his chin resting in his hands. When he learned he was acquitted on some charges, he gave a slight fist-pump and straightened his posture.

The disturbing nature of the case has grabbed the attention of the entire province and has stoked anger in the comments section of online news sites and social media.

The father will be sentenced Sept. 30. Defence lawyer Jason Edwards has requested a pre-sentencing report.

 The mother will learn her fate on Sept. 9.

Geographic location: Brazil

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