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Debate over computer monitors stalls Pitt Meadows rave trial
A lawyer for a young man, accused of posting pornographic photographs taken during a rave in Pitt Meadows on Facebook, called for a mistrial on Thursday over a debate about computer monitors.
Marvin Stern made the request after Crown prosecutor Wendy van Tongeren Harvey asked the judge to allow her to set up larger monitors, that are used by Ridge Meadows RCMP, in court.
The 27-inch monitors would be used to show graphic photographs snapped during a Sept. 10, 2010 party held at a farm on Harris Road.
Dennis John Allen Warrington was charged with possessing and distributing child porn after he uploaded images on Facebook of Colton McMorris and a 16-year-old girl engaged in sexual activity, which did not include intercourse.
Crown believed the larger monitors would display the best image possible and help the young victim to identify herself in the photographs. The victim viewed the photographs on same large monitors when she filed a complaint with police.
The computer monitors already set up in the Port Coquitlam court room are between 15 inches and 17 inches.
Van Tongeren Harvey told Judge Shehni Dossa the new monitors would display a clearer image that would help both police and the victim identify certain features in the photos.
“Bigger is not necessarily better,” argued Stern, adding that the application was being made at Day 8 of a trial.
“When my friend indicates that you are going to see different things because of the nature of the equipment, that’s a point this court cannot get over.”
He also noted that several witnesses had already given evidence during the trial and identified photographs using the monitors already in place. They include the teen who took the photographs, McMorris and several friends of the victim.
“That is a significant problem for the trial process,” said Stern.
“It’s not one that can’t be remedied by recalling witnesses to take another look.”
Van Tongeren Harvey characterized Stern’s call for a “mistrial” as a “quantum leap.”
The court eventually agreed to set up a monitor to see whether it would, in fact, display a better quality image.
“Let’s bring these monitors in here and let Mr. Stern have a look at them and see if there’s is such a discernible difference that there has been prejudice to his client,” said van Tongeren Harvey.
She told the judge that the victim has no memory of the night in question.
“That’s why it’s important that she look at these image and have the advantage of a potentially clearer image,” she added.
The young woman has yet to testify at the trial, but is expected to take the stand sometime this week.
The trial for Warrington expected to stretch into November.