A Campbell River man was sentenced to 13 months in jail April 12 after pleading guilty to Possession of child pornography.
In May 2021, the BC Integrated Child Exploitation Unit informed the Campbell River RCMP Major Crime Unit that child pornography was detected online by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Through investigation, police were able to pinpoint the child pornography as having come from a Campbell River residence. Police executed a search warrant of the residence in October 2021 and seized several digital devices.
Examination of these seized devices revealed thousands of images and videos that met the definition of child pornography, which resulted in charges being laid against 66-year-old Leslie Harold Hamilton.
On April 12, 2023, Hamilton was sentenced in BC Provincial Court to 13 months in jail, followed by a two-year Probation Order, five-year Sex Offender Prohibition, 20-year Sex Offender Registry and DNA order, after pleading guilty to Possession of Child Pornography.
“People need to understand that viewing and possessing child pornography is not a victimless crime,” said Insp. Jeff Preston, Officer in Charge of Campbell River RCMP Detachment. “In fact, it creates a market and demand for the further exploitation and abuse of children.
From 2021 to 2022, Campbell River RCMP saw a 25 per cent increase in reports involving child pornography, and 2023 is on pace to continue that pattern.”
“Unfortunately, these types of investigations are becoming more common in policing,” said Inspector Preston. “It’s very important for 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. Police in Canada receive information from online platforms and law enforcement agencies around the world regarding Internet users based in Canada that are viewing, downloading, and uploading child pornography.
“The investigations are extremely sensitive and time consuming. Typically, multiple judicial authorizations, like warrants, are required. When the warrants are executed, investigators can enter homes or businesses and seize all digital equipment a person possesses that is capable of searching for or storing images or video. Effectively, no stone is left unturned as police comb through search histories and all media within the digital device. Despite the immense volume of work involved in these investigations, it’s well worth it to protect those most vulnerable in our world.”
If you have any information regarding ongoing criminal actions, contact the Campbell River RCMP at 250-286-6221. In an emergency, call 911.