Guilty plea to child porn charge

The former director of graduate studies at Thompson Rivers University, Andrew McKay, changed his plea to guilty Tuesday

The former director of graduate studies at Thompson Rivers University, Andrew McKay, changed his plea to guilty Tuesday on a child pornography charge.

McKay appeared in BC Provincial Court in Salmon Arm on Aug. 18, without his lawyer, to make the change. The court was told that on May 12, 2014 in Kamloops, the accused possessed child pornography. Crown Counsel Bill Hilderman said Crown is seeking a forensic risk assessment report, which could delay sentencing for a month to six weeks.

Judge Mayland McKimm asked the defendant why his lawyer was not in the courtroom.

McKay replied: “It has been devastating on my career, family and marriage and I’m eager to deal with it directly… It also has been financially devastating. Because today’s appearance is to change my plea, frankly, to save a bit of expense, I wanted to appear on my own…”

Judge McKimm tried to establish that McKay understood the ramifications of changing his plea.

Assured McKay: “I absolutely understand the short- and long-term circumstances and giving up my right to trial… It’s not in any way that I don’t know what I’m doing.”

The judge said a lawyer might wish to investigate different avenues of defence.

McKay said for the sake of his family, he wants to expedite the process.

“I understand, I’m giving you 100 per cent credit for that,” Judge McKimm responded.

The court decided that McKay would be the subject of a pre-sentence report with a psychological and psychiatric component.

The next court date will be Oct. 13, when a date will be set for sentencing.

 

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