New & Notable: Mind the gap

P.G. was convicted after trial of grooming and then sexually assaulting two young boys: 2012 ONSC 900.  It was not the first time that he had been convicted of these types of offences.


After the finding of guilt, the crown brought a dangerous offender application, asking the court to sentence the offender to an indeterminate period of custody.

The application was justified.  P.G. met much of the established Dangerous Offender criteria.  He was a diagnosed pedophile, a life-long condition with no cure.  He denied his offences and denied that he had an attraction to children.  He had not undergone any treatment since his last offences nor did he propose any treatment plan moving forward.  All of this spoke to his dismal prospects for rehabilitation and the likelihood of recidivism.

His previous offences, however, had been committed some 16 years prior to the predicate offence.  His counsel argued that the large gap in his record was demonstrative that he could control his offending behaviour for long periods of time making him manageable in the community.

Code J. disagreed.  In rejecting this argument the court held that the immediate risk of an “in denial”, untreated pedophile supersedes the liberty interests of a man who may have had a long period without offending: 2013 ONSC 589.

In making this finding the court invoked the often repeated words of the Ontario Court of Appeal: “in a contest between an individual's interest in invoking the long-term offender provisions of the Code and the protection of the public, the latter must prevail”.