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Frequent flasher sentenced for Halifax grocery store incident


A Lakeside man was sentenced recently for exposing himself to a five-year-old girl at the Atlantic Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax last September. - Steve Bruce
A Lakeside man was sentenced recently for exposing himself to a five-year-old girl at the Atlantic Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax last September. - Steve Bruce

“A five-year-old girl shouldn’t have to worry when she goes into a grocery store that some dirty old man is going to show her his penis.”

            - Judge Gregory Lenehan

A judge has handed a Lakeside man with a history of exposing himself to children a one-year jail sentence and placed him on probation for three years for his latest offence.

Kenneth William Davis, 55, pleaded guilty in January to exposing his genitals to a five-year-old girl at the Atlantic Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax last September.

Judge Gregory Lenehan accepted a joint sentencing recommendation from lawyers recently in Halifax provincial court.

The judge gave Davis a year’s credit for his time on remand, meaning he has served the jail portion of his sentence.

“What I have before me is a well-reasoned joint recommendation that attempts to express the abhorrence for this type of offence and the denunciation that has to be expressed, recognizing that that part of the sentence has already been served,” Lenehan said.

“Now there’s a need to release you back into the community, but it has to be done under circumstances that are going to hold you accountable for your actions, encourage you to get some assistance and at the same time provide protection to young people.

“A five-year-old girl shouldn’t have to worry when she goes into a grocery store that some dirty old man is going to show her his penis.”

Davis came before the court with four previous convictions for exposing himself to kids and three for committing an indecent act, all since 1997.

A sexual offender assessment prepared for the sentencing hearing said Davis lacks insight into his behaviour and poses a high risk to commit further sexual offences.

“That really shouldn’t come as any surprise given the record that we have,” Crown attorney Josie McKinney said of Davis’ risk to reoffend sexually.

“While one would hope that he could be rehabilitated, the prospects at this time are low.”

Davis’ last sentencing was in 2006, when a judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail.

“You’re quickly becoming a person who is going to be receiving the maximum term of jail if there are any subsequent convictions for this type of offence."

            - Judge Gregory Lenehan

“There has been a long gap,” defence lawyer Cameron MacKeen said of his client’s record.

MacKeen said Davis understands the ramifications of having a one-year jail sentence on his record should he reoffend.

The judge said the sexual offender report on Davis is “really quite troubling.”

“That you would resort to this type of behaviour when you start feeling certain stresses in your life means that you have a deep-seated problem that needs to be addressed,” Lenehan said.

“You’re quickly becoming a person who is going to be receiving the maximum term of jail if there are any subsequent convictions for this type of offence. … The courts are going to find that if you’re not amenable to treatment and you can’t change your ways, the only way to protect the young and vulnerable is to keep you in jail.”

The judge imposed the longest allowable period of probation, with conditions that Davis take part in sex offender treatment and any other counselling deemed necessary by his supervisor and not be within 10 metres of the Joseph Howe Superstore.

While on probation, Davis cannot have contact with anyone under the age of 16 except for family members in the immediate company of an adult who is aware of his sexual convictions.

The judge ordered Davis to provide a DNA sample for a national databank and to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

After his probation period expires, Davis will be subject to a 10-year order prohibiting him from being around parks, playgrounds, daycares, schools, community centres, swimming pools and other public facilities frequented by children.

The same order will make it illegal for Davis to seek any employment, paid or volunteer, that would place him in a position of trust or authority towards a child, and to have contact with anyone under 16 unless it’s under the supervision of an adult aware of his record.

The judge said he hopes counselling will eventually reduce Davis’ risk to the community.

“You need to understand, Mr. Davis, you pose too much of a risk right now to be allowing you to be anywhere there are bound to be children,” the judge said.

“I have to be concerned that the children in this community be protected from you exposing yourself in the future.”

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