Harry Charles Sadd, a 74-year-old former badminton coach, pleaded guilty to eight charges relating to sexual abuse that took place between 1970 and 1984. (RCMP handout)

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

The sentencing hearing of the former substitute teacher who pleaded guilty of sexual abuse charges wrapped up Wednesday morning at Victoria courthouse.

Harry Charles Sadd, 74, pleaded guilty to eight charges relating to sexual abuse between 1970 and 1982. The sentencing hearing began on Tuesday with several emotional victim impact statements read out by Crown prosecutor Leslie Baskerville, and in one case by the victim himself.

Sadd was a substitute teacher in Greater Victoria, along with a badminton coach for youth aged 10 to 18. A number of victims were in court throughout the two-day hearing.

Baskerville is asking for a global sentence of 10 years, whereas defence lawyer Chris Considine is seeking a sentence in the range of three and a half to five and a half years depending on credited time.

RELATED: Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Considine began Wednesday’s proceedings by outlining the steps Sadd has taken over the years to rehabilitate himself. In 1984 a report was written by a psychiatrist who Sadd was seeing on referral from his family doctor. The report stated Sadd admitted to sexual misconduct with multiple boys but that he rationalizes his actions — something he has continued to do to this day asserted the Crown. The report also inquired into possible treatment options Sadd could undergo but found nothing was available.

In the early 1990s another report emphasized the lack of treatment available to Sadd.

In 1993, Sadd began attending weekly two-hour group therapy sessions, along with seeing a doctor privately. In these sessions, he admitted there were up to 10 victims, although the current charges only deal with seven victims.

READ ALSO: B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charge

A report from 2019 states that while there is no doubt Sadd displayed a chronic pattern of sexual violence, assuming that he’s been offence free for the past 35 years, he is no longer a chronic offender. It also noted from an earlier report that Sadd was able to suppress his arousal when asked to do so and is a low risk to reoffend. This report also called Sadd a “rarity” for taking responsibility for his actions, adding that his advancing age has a beneficial effect on reducing the frequency and intensity of his urges.

On Tuesday the courts heard how Sadd sexually abused boys as young as nine. He met most of his victims through his job coaching badminton or through church.

In some instances, the abuse would last for years taking place in communal showers after badminton practice, on camping trips in shared tents and during overnight tournaments.

“We heard [one of the victims] say yesterday, ‘I wish I said something sooner,’ when in fact unbeknownst to him, Mr. Sadd took those steps sooner, making a difference that D.C. hoped would be made,” said Considine.

On Tuesday during the Crown’s submissions, Baskerville stated the crown wholeheartedly disagrees with this line of defence.

“[Considine] if I’m not mistaken, is suggesting Mr. Sadd’s behavior in controlling his pedophilic urges for the past 30 years is nothing short of extraordinary,” she said, adding that a lack of offending should only be treated as a mitigating factor when accompanied by genuine remorse and acceptance of responsibility.

The Crown said Sadd has never expressed remorse and doesn’t understand the psychological damage done to his victims, adding that he went so far as to say young boys were “seducing” him by sitting on his lap.

Sadd is expected to be sentenced in early March.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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