Friday, July 19, 2024

Colwood’s former assistant fire chief pleads guilty for possession of child pornography


WARNING: The subject matter of this article may be disturbing to some readers.

Colwood’s former assistant fire chief entered a guilty plea for being in possession of over 1,000 images of child pornography. 

George Wright, aged 69, has been sentenced to one year in prison and three years’ probation to follow after being caught in possession of  child pornography that he downloaded to his computer. 

According to court documents, the images he was in possession of displayed children between the ages of 3 and 12-years-old who were engaged in a number of sexual acts with both parents and other children.

He downloaded these images from the internet and stored them on his computer over a 23-year period between 1997 and 2020.

“I knew that it’s illegal … it’s not like I didn’t know,” Wright told Dr. Kreklewitz, a phychologist who interviewed him prior to sentencing.

According to the court record, Wright did not realize by downloading and accessing child pornography, he was supporting predators and perpetuating harm towards the children depicted. 

Wright said a friend had to explain this to him in order for him to understand how wrong it is.

Following this conversation with his friend, Wright did not however destroy or delete the images from his computer which was seized when he was arrested. 

According to Wright, he has never experienced sexual intercourse. He told his psychologist that he had once kissed a woman but that was the extent of his sexual experience. 

“Mr. Wright denied a history of significant intimate relationships,” read a report by Dr. Kreklewitz. “He denied ever having a girlfriend or being married, and elaborated that, ‘I never wanted one’.”

“Mr. Wright explained that he did not want a partner because, ‘women have moody cycles … I just couldn’t handle it’.”

Dr. Kreklewitz’s report also states that Wright was neither aroused or repelled by the images; he simply wanted to see how bad things got for the children depicted — whether they would live or not.

At no point did he describe feeling negative emotions such as disgust, anger or sadness, that one might expect someone to experience when viewing child pornography if they were not doing so for sexual purposes,” said Dr. Kreklewitz. 

“Further, absent from his comments was any mention of the victims’ pain, suffering or fear during the abuse, or any potential long-term impacts to victims.”

Following sentencing, Dr. Kreklewitz says Wright approached him to express his regret in his actions. He assures the psychologist he would never reoffend.

Wright does not believe he is in need of counselling or psychiatric support, but says he will take counselling if directed to by the court. 

Normally, a single count of possession of child pornography would land an offender six months’ jail time and a period of probation to follow, but because Wright’s case is significantly more grave than most, he was given one year of jail and three years’ probation.

“It is not difficult to imagine cases of possession of child pornography which are significantly less grave than this one,” said The Honourable Judge Ted Gouge.  

“Mr. Wright gathered and stored more than 1,000 images of child pornography over a period of 23 years. Some of those depicted acts of sexual aggression by adults upon children and by children upon other children.”  

“His offence is much more grave than, for example, the case of a person who downloads and stores a single image of a naked child which does not depict any sexual activity,” Judge Gouge added.  

Wright will also have numerous conditions, such as not coming into contact with anyone below the age of 14-years-old and he has also been ordered not to attend schools or playgrounds.

Wright will be a registered sex offender for 10 years.

Curtis Blandy

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