Kingston – The fear that if not monitored Mark Bedford will commit a sexual offence against a child prompted a judge to impose a public safety peace bond on the convicted predator. A seldom used legal tool to allow law enforcement to keep tabs on high-risk offenders upon release.
The 31-year-old was let out of prison in August of 2015 and has been fighting for total freedom since then. And to access to the internet, the tool he used to commit his crimes more than a decade ago.
Bedford was found guilty of extortion, internet luring and other sex-related crimes in 2008 and spent several years behind bars after he breached the conditions of his early release. Since his last release in August 2015 police and the crown have been fighting for conditions which would require regular check-ins with police, prevent him from using the internet, computers, phones and even digital cameras.
A judge agreed to those conditions following expert testimony that suggested Bedford’s sexual recidivism is high, based on his response to treatment programs while behind bars.
The judge told the court Bedford, “Clearly can’t express any remorse. It’s troubling for his prospects of rehabilitation.” Justice O’Brien
It took a little over an hour for the judge to render his decision.
As for conditions, the crown submitted 28 that Elizabeth Foxton felt were reasonable and necessary. But the defence disagreed — combing through each one debating it’s “rational connection” to the case.”
Conditions that range from being photographed by police to allowing police to enter Bedford’s home without notice.
His Lawyer, Brain Callender argued that his client should be allowed to use the internet and computers.
Explaining to the judge that a condition that prohibits him from using either could hinder his ability to find employment or go back to school.
“He served his sentence Your Honour.” pointing out that his crimes were committed several years ago.
“It’s been a decade.”
The judge imposed 18 conditions allowing him limited access to the internet only for schooling or employment purposes and under strict observation by Kingston Police.
The bond will remain in place for the next 18 months —- the crown had asked for a term of 24 months but the judge credited Bedford for time waiting as the hearing unfolded.