A 66-year-old man from Campbell River was recently sentenced to 13 months in jail after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.
Leslie Harold Hamilton was also given a 2-year probation order, a 5-year sex offender prohibition, and a 20-year sex offender registry and DNA order.
The case began when the BC Integrated Child Exploitation Unit alerted the Campbell River RCMP Major Crime Unit in May 2021 that child pornography had been detected online.
Police traced the source of the illegal material to Hamilton’s residence and executed a search warrant in October 2021. They seized several digital devices, which were later found to contain thousands of images and videos that met the definition of child pornography.
In a statement, Inspector Jeff Preston, officer in charge of Campbell River RCMP Detachment, emphasized that people need to understand that viewing and possessing child pornography is not a victimless crime.
“In fact, it creates a market and demand for the further exploitation and abuse of children,” he said. The case is unfortunately not an isolated one.
According to Inspector Preston, Campbell River RCMP has seen a 25% increase in reports involving child pornography from 2021 to 2022, and 2023 is on pace to continue that pattern.
Preston noted that these types of investigations are becoming more common in policing and urged people to understand that there is no real anonymity on the internet.
“Everything you do carries a digital footprint, and it can and will lead back to you,” he warned.
Last week, a Quebec fugitive wanted on child pornography charges was arrested in Parksville.
39-year-old Jimmy Pieschke has been on the run for some time and was believed to be hiding out on Salt Spring Island in February.
Pieschke was charged in Quebec for making child pornography and failed to appear in court after pleading guilty to several charges.
If you have any information regarding ongoing criminal actions, please contact the Campbell River RCMP at 250-286-6221. In an emergency, please call 911.