Former mcfd manager sentenced for child pornography

Given that by virtue of his position, he was effectively the guardian of thousands of vulnerable children, Ahrens maintained he violated a position of trust. In turn, Desbarats countered that there was no connection between the youth depicted in the images and those under his care.

RCMP subsequently executed search warrants on Berry’s home in Vancouver and on his secondary home in the 6800 block of Domano Boulevard and seized a tablet, an external hard drive and a laptop. In all, 600 to 800 images and 120 videos were extracted, most depicting teenage boys and the vast majority considered to be at the lower end of the scale in terms of depravity although some involved sexual acts and some depicted youth much younger.


On the expectation his time in the region would last just two years, Berry had agreed to move to Prince George in 2011. Because his wife also worked in MCFD, she and their family could not follow him due to concerns over conflict of interest.

Berry’s job was described as high stress and involving long hours – as many as 70 hours per week – and he was on call virtually all the time and often dealt with "very disturbing incidents involving children," the court was told. In a senior management position, he was also responsible for a budget in the $100 million range.

Not only was his father was an abusive alcoholic but Berry was also the target of sexual abuse at the hands of a councillor in the Boys and Girls Cub. It just so happened his abuser, who is no longer alive, was living in the north and Berry decided to confront him.

Berry did not speak during the hearing but, in a statement said he was "devastated that my poor choices led to harm to any children. This is something that I worked my entire life to mitigate and increase support systems to lessen. I acknowledge that those with careers in children protection and social work are held to a higher standard and rightfully so."

Since his arrest, Berry has stopped drinking and sought help for depression, an ailment for which he was first diagnosed in 1986. In 2014, he spent 30 days in psychiatric care and has since received ongoing counselling to gain better insight into his actions.

He has already paid a price, the court was also told. He lost a job that paid $120,000 a year along with its health benefits, was subsequently let go from a job at a restoration company because employees did not want to work with him, has run up an extensive credit card debt and has twice been evicted from homes his family had been renting. Although the evictions were legally questionable, they chose not to fight them, Desbarats said.

Crown and defence had argued for sentences at the low end of the range. For the offences as committed at that time, the range is six months to five years when pursued on an indictable basis. In 2015, the range was increased to one year and 10 years.

Terms of the probation include refraining from taking on jobs or volunteer roles that involve working with youth 16 years or under. He must also participate and complete any treatment program or counselling as directed by his probation officer.