The courts

Gordon Smith had 68,000 pornographic images of children in his possession.

Editor’s note: The following contains graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

With denunciation and protection of the public as his principle objectives, a Penticton judge on Wednesday handed down a two-year jail term to a man caught with 68,000 images of child pornography.

Crucially, the two-year term also allowed Judge Greg Koturbash to tack on a three-year probation order to which Gordon Smith will be bound once he’s out of jail. Anything over two years would have put Smith in the federal prison system and eliminated the possibility of probation.

Smith, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography in connection with the illicit cache, which also included 1,665 videos and was discovered on his home computer in May 2018.

Court heard several videos were violent in nature, including girls as young as five being raped by multiple men. Other videos showed Smith pleasuring himself with printed photos of children in sexual situations.

Smith came to the attention of police after uploading child pornography to the internet.

Defence counsel James Pennington said previously Smith had been battling depression and was trying to ruin his own life by dabbling in child pornography on the expectation he would be caught.

Koturbash described that explanation as “very puzzling and, frankly, incredulous,” and went on to characterize Smith’s activities as “disgusting and repugnant.”

The judge did, however, cite as mitigating factors Smith’s guilty plea, co-operation with police, lack of a criminal record and collateral damage to Smith’s personal life as a result of his arrest.

Koturbash also noted, however, the rising prevalence of child pornography, which he said has forced police to triage the most serious cases, “because they simply do not have the resources to charge everyone involved in this type of insidious activity.”

Once on probation, Smith will be bound by a midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew and be prohibited from going anywhere children under 16 might be present. He’s also banned from using the internet except on a public computer in a public place.