Weekend jail for Maple Ridge man caught with child porn

Douglas McNally,a former minor football volunteer given 90-day prison term for guilty plea

Douglas James McNally

A Maple Ridge man who pleaded guilty to distributing and importing child pornography will serve a 90-day sentence by spending weekends in jail.

Douglas James McNally was handed the prison term Thursday in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court and told the judge he wanted to put the humiliating experience behind him.

“I stand before the court today to accept whatever I need to do to get my life back,” he told Judge Shehni Dossa.

“I feel very much for the children that are in the pictures. I have a hard time explaining myself. I am disgusted with myself.”

McNally’s 18-year-old son was in court to support him.

NcNally hugged his son and bid him farewell before proceedings commenced. He has aged considerably and lost weight compared to a photograph he posted to Hi 5, a children’s social networking site.

The 67-year-old man was a former volunteer with the Meadowridge Knights, but no longer helps with the minor football club.

In a search warrant application, police revealed that McNally was flagged in 2007 by Canada’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, which passed the information to the RCMP’s Integrated Child Exploitation unit.

The ICE investigation led police to an address in Maple Ridge, where McNally lived, and those details were forwarded to Ridge Meadows RCMP. But police were unable to act on the information “due to delays” and closed the file.

A CD containing images of child abuse related to the file was also destroyed.

In 2011, however, police received another cyber tip and acted on it quickly.

Police were granted a search warrant in June for McNally’s house, where a computer, laptop, cellphone and cameras were seized.

The court heard McNally gave a statement to police which amounted to a confession, saying he viewed the images out of curiosity and to explore the dark side.

In August, Crown approved one count each of importing or distributing child porn and possessing child pornography against him.

McNally pleaded guilty to the more serious offence of distributing child porn a month later, because he wanted the “humiliating” ordeal over quickly.

He declined to hire a lawyer, although he was counselled to get one by Crown prosecutor Andrew Blunt.

Blunt told the court that 108 images, which qualify as child porn, were uploaded to a Yahoo Flickr account by McNally.

Police also found 20 images and 20 videos on McNally’s laptop.

Blunt described three images and a video to the court, revealing most involved young girls, one as young as four.

Although the images were alarming and disturbing, Blunt noted the quantity of images found in McNally’s possession were at the “low range” compared to others charges with similar offences, who usually download thousands of child porn images.

He cited McNally’s guilty plea and the fact that McNally had overcome an addiction to alcohol as factors that would assist in his rehabilitation.

While addicted to alcohol in the 1970s, McNally spent almost a decade living on the streets of Vancouver, but kicked his habit for good after entering a rehab in 1979.

Blunt told the court McNally hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since.

“If an individual can conquer … such a gripping addiction, I think that’s a positive when it comes to him conquering whatever it is that lead him to get engaged in viewing child pornography,” Blunt said.

McNally requested the intermittent or fragmented prison term because his wife cannot drive and needs access to a car during the week.

Besides the 90- day sentence, which he will serve over 30 weekends from 6 p.m. on Fridays to 6 p.m. on  Sundays, McNally’s DNA will be entered into the sex offender registry.

While outside prison, he will be bound by a recognizance that prohibits him from being near persons under 16, including parks, playgrounds, daycares, schools and swimming pools.

He is unable to access the Internet unless in the company of his wife and son.

He is not allowed to consume alcohol or drugs or communicate with any person under the age of 16.

He is also not allowed to volunteer with an organization where he may have contact with children.

Once his 90-day sentence is complete, he will be bound by a two-year probation order with similar restrictive conditions.

His prohibition from being near playgrounds or in places where children are present, and from volunteering is for 10 years.

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