R. vs. Sharpe Two: Fresh Charges

This book takes off from my previous one, R. v. Sharpe: A Personal Account which documents my partially successful, seven-year struggle with Canada's child pornography laws.

1 Introduction and background

I was convicted in BC Supreme Court of indecent assault under s. 156 in May 2004 and was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. This section of the Criminal Code was repealed and replaced in 1983 by s. 246.1 of the Criminal Code which is similar in that criminalizes any adult sex with a child under 14 plus sex with a young person under where the adult is in a position of authority or trust. S. 156 still applies to offences alleged to have occurred when it was in effect. I was also convicted of gross indecency, a lesser community-standards offence. I immediately appealed my conviction, but did not apply for bail as I expected the appeal to be resolved within a few months. This was not the case and I served the full sentence with no parole. An inmate is effectively ineligible for parole if he is appealing the conviction. Finally in March 2007, 16 months after my release - my conviction for indecent assault was quashed by the BC Court of Appeals. However this did me little good as the court substituted the stayed conviction for gross indecency, an archaic community-standards offence that was repealed in 1988. Although not replaced, it is still applied to offences alleged to have occurred while it was in effect. What happened to me bears comparison to the situation of a person being charged today with homosexual acts which occurred before that law prohibiting them was repealed in 1968.

With the gross indecency charge, the jury in 2004 was in effect asked to determine what a reasonable person in 1982 would have found grossly indecent at that time. Most members of the jury would have been children then. Intuition beyond a reasonable doubt? I had hoped for a new trial, an acquittal, and removal of my name from the sex-offender registry. My appeal had effectively failed, but fighting the battle helped sustain me during an awkward time. I am now too old, poor and lethargic to pursue things further.

When I began this book a few months before my 2004 trial I did not expect to be convicted. The allegations were so outrageous, so far from the actual truth, so full of inconsistencies and obvious fabrications that I did not think that a judge or jury would believe them. The allegations centered on Layton North's tale about how we met and the events during the early part of our relationship, but the truth or falsity of his account - which I presumed would decide the verdict, was largely irrelevant. Hindsight suggests that the complainant's credibility was not critical to the Crown's case. The jury may well have believed that his basic story was a fabrication including his claims about being motivated by hunger. However they probably believed some of the details he laid out and feelings he expressed which supported the contention that I was in a position of trust. The age-of-consent issue - how old the complainant was when we first had sex - which I had thought was central to their case may not have been of much significance after all. I had assumed that establishing a reasonable doubt about whether any sex occurred before the complainant reached the legal age was critical. The only evidence was the complainant's likely fabrication and my testimony which placed it after he was fourteen. But none of these details would matter if I were deemed to have been in a position of trust. In that case, any sex before 18 would be illegal. My hospitality, my friendliness and generosity, and perhaps particularly a loan I made to his mother (which I did not, could not deny) may have convinced the jury that I was in a position of trust. We will never know what they thought.

Trust devolves from practically any close relationship between an adult and a young person. Affection, attention, concern, generosity, counsel and loyalty all become perversely twisted to define a relationship as criminal if any sex occurs. It would seem that only the more casual and less caring of liaisons would meet legal muster. Such relationships may be seen as less threatening. Blow 'em, fuck 'em, whatever - just don't get closely involved and the law is less likely to bother you. A position of trust in the case of a young person is legally equivalent to being the young person's employer, teacher or guardian. When the prosecutors and police can't point to authority, threats, coercion or obvious manipulation they can always claim there was a violation of trust. Except for casual encounters adult/youth relationships are covered 360 degrees. There is case law where even a boy or girl's vigorous denials that the man had any influence over him may not be enough to convince a court beyond a reasonable doubt that the minor was incapable of consenting because of trust. The law disempowers youth. And that most obvious aspect of consent - desire - has no place in law.

Busted Again

I was not fully awake when Detectives Ray Beisick and Glynis Griffiths, accompanied by two uniformed officers knocked at my door before 8AM on Monday August 26th, 2002 to arrest me. They couldn't help but notice that I was getting ready to move, something about which I'd made no secret. Three years before I had decided to leave the West Coast and rebuild my life in the East where I would be anonymous and had loyal friends. I was devastated, I had given notice, cancelled subscriptions, packed, given away most of my furniture, culled my books and possessions and said a few good byes. I was moving in a couple of weeks. I'd even paid for an old car and planned a fairly leisurely trip east with a friend visiting cities in the Prairies along the way that I'd known in the 1960s when I was a town planner. The detectives called a wagon to take me the three blocks to the police jail where I was booked, photographed, had my prints taken again and, 'for my own protection', I was deprived of my dentures and eyeglasses.

I agreed to an interview. I wasn't sure if I should, especially as I was still in an unsettled state from having my plans shattered. But I was reluctant to refuse and I was very curious. It was probably a mistake. I didn't deny that I knew the complainant or that I had taken pictures of him - they had copies of them. Detective Beisick outlined the complainant's accusations against me which contained a gross fabrication about how we met. I immediately concluded that the complainant must have been coached or had his memory 'enhanced'. Beisick mainly tried the 'good cop' approach.

I was confined to a small holding cell along with a changing stream of other prisoners. Some time in the afternoon I was interviewed by a duty counsel who argued for granting me bail. Despite the fact that the alleged offences occurred over twenty years earlier the prosecutor, Elliot Z. Poll, wanted me held in custody, the charges being, he said, so serious. Provincial Court Judge Parsons reserved her decision until the following Wednesday. I spent a boring night in a cold holding cell where I began thinking like a prisoner exploring and mentally measuring the small room. As one who knew construction, I tried to guess the wording of the annotations on the blueprints for my present accommodation. I kept as low profile as I could.

Late next morning I was taken to the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam B.C. in a sheriff's wagon along with several others. The Centre is in an out-of-the-way, car-bound location. I learnt about the procedures and attitudes of being admitted to a non-penal institution designed for dealing with criminals. It involves a lot of waiting where initially you become very observant but soon, hopefully, you are able to entertain yourself with your thoughts. I finally got my dentures and glasses back and it was a relief when I was taken to my assigned unit, AE, the protective custody wing, which had about forty inmates. The large high, modern industrial-style space was bounded on two sides by double galleries leading to double-bunk rooms. The main area had a snack counter, TV, and a lounge area with games. Backgammon was being played at a couple of tables. It was a while later when another inmate was showing me how to make coffee, and explaining the rules and customs that I learnt that AE stood for Alpha East.

I can't remember the names of the men I met during the day or so when I was inmate in Alpha East. I wouldn't use their real names anyway, and I may mis-ascribe some events. Unlike the tiny cold holding cells at the Vancouver jail, the rooms in the North Fraser Pretrial Centre, or Poco remand as it is commonly called, have a certain Spartan comfort. I could keep my head together and survive there. There were books and TV although I would have to follow popular taste. There is a room with a computer for word processing, and maybe games, and a small enclosed exercise yard. I only glanced at the law library with CDs in lieu of legal books.

The next morning at 5:15, about ten of us were awakened, cuffed and shackled for the thirty minutes drive to the Main Street Courthouse. Most of the day I spent with six others confined in a tiny holding cell while we waited for our respective court appearances and processing. We waited for hours, long tedious hours, for things to happen. My youngest cellmate, Tom (where I refer to the complainant, inmates and non-police witnesses I have adopted pseudonyms for legal reasons), was a prettily handsome, husky Native boy who didn't look his twenty years. I liked his cocky attitude and found him an attractive young man. He almost looked Chinese with his pale skin. Tom was in court to be sentenced on a number of theft charges, one of which he claimed he did not commit, and buoyantly counted on being out by Christmas. When he received ten months he was shocked, became morose and hid his face while his 'brothers in crime' bros tried to console him. He wasn't going to have any fun and it's sad to see people so unhappy. I wondered if he would draw any inferences from the sentence beyond thinking he got a hard deal.

A sturdy, not much older blond youth, Geoff fatalistically equates his crimes with the times he's doing crack. His looks are spoiled by his blotchy face, perhaps a result of his life style or not taking care of himself. As he puts it, it's not like he steals to buy crack but that crime is simply part of the crackie's way of life. He speculates that you only get caught one time in twenty, but then he claims hundreds of crimes. He plans to work up north when he gets out and stay off drugs for a while. He says that addicts live longer if they they're periodically "pinched", an archaic term I thought, and get off the street for a while. It sounded like part of a cycle, and cycles of being strung out and drying up make more sense for the user than no control at all. It's how many addicts stay alive although most just go to some detox facility and maybe stay clean for a while. Geoff seems to accept that jail will be part of his life for some time to come.

The two older guys were both good storytellers and described some of their petty criminal escapades. Tom's older 'bro' Matt relates a booster's tale of adding many thousands of dollars worth of parts, including a bigger engine and a three thousand dollar sound system, to a car he only paid a hundred dollars for, only to have it stolen. He tells us how he gets merchandise through the sensor gates in stores using a piece of cigarette package foil. He fondly recounted car chases, with cops in hot pursuit, all of which ended with his being caught. He tells me that he prefers protective custody because it offers a better class of people and he feels safer. The other bro, in his thirties, sees jail partly as a chance to work out and get back in shape. He spreads his fingers wide apart to show how big his biceps used to be. He mostly steals but explains that he's been into jacking up, or robbing people on the street, and says that Welfare Wednesday around East Hastings is the richest pickings.

The saddest story was that of a small disheveled old-timer in pants four sizes too big tied tight through the back belt loops with strips of twisted Saran wrap he made from the wrappings on our bologna-sandwich jail fare. He supplemented his pension by scavenging and said he'd gotten pricked a few times by discarded fits going through dumpsters and was scared of AIDS. I asked him about gloves and he told me you can't feel around that good with them on. He'd been a boxer in his teens and taken too many blows to the head; lithium helps and he likes his wine. He confided to us that some of the hookers at his East End residence naughtily showed him their boobs. He evidently enjoyed the tease. After almost three months in custody he was finally getting his trial on his charges of sexually assaulting a twelve- year-old girl. He said he'd merely patted her bottom in an eastside mall and called her a 'pretty lass'. He was extremely hurt by the charge and its implication that he was a child molester but he retained some hope. He was relieved when the judge simply dismissed the charges for lack of evidence but he had to wait with us another painful three hours while papers for his release were prepared. The others told him he should sue. He was impatient, and anxious to have a cigarette. In fact that was what all of them wanted; they spoke of cigarettes reverentially. I believe it was the booster who said he wanted to do his time in Prince George where they apparently still allowed inmates to smoke. In jail cigarettes are powerful objects of desire and acquire mystical qualities.

Although we tended to avoid names the others were aware of who I was. One prisoner was quite curious about me. Some old footage from my previous case was on the evening TV news the day before when my arrest was announced. One item I later heard associated me with the infamous serial child-killer Clifford Olson. Similarities were implied. I had known one of his victims through his father who was my pot dealer at the time. My identity however did not seem to be an issue with these men. They could see who, or what I was, and work from that in the transient context of a remand centre. My notoriety may have even benefited me. A serious prison scene however could be very different. After I was allowed out on bail, but not out of the cramped holding cell, their advice to me was to flee; it often seems to work for them for a while, which may be the most important thing. Alas, my time horizon is too long to plunge into such a risky venture, admirable as it is. I don't think I have the capacity to be a contented fugitive.

The sheriffs had brought me into court in prison reds. As I was not attending a trial or a preliminary hearing I was not allowed to bring my clothes, my dentures, my glasses, my keys, wallet or any money all these things being out at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre. Once I was granted bail I was no longer in custody although I still had to wait three hours in the holding cell for papers to be processed. I was no longer the responsibility of the sheriffs who had brought me there and they had no obligation to return me. I was three blocks from home with no way to get there, or if I did, get inside my room. Luckily perhaps, my conditional sentence from my previous charges had not expired, and I had to be immediately refitted with a new ankle bracelet at the correctional office across Cordova Street from the courthouse. Three TV crews were waiting outside to catch me in my prison reds. I ignored shrill questions about being a child molester. One crew waited for an hour for me to come out before they gave up. Corrections was now responsible for me and after a while it was arranged that my probation supervisor's manager, Eileen McWade, would take me out to the Poco Remand Centre to get my belongings. I saw the situation as an example of the inefficiencies caused by the budget cutting closure of the Vancouver Pretrial Centre, part of the same relatively new correctional complex we were in. However I spent an interesting three hours with Ms. McWade and as a result later lent her a copy of R. v. Sharpe, the story of my first case, to read.

I have had the fun of a defective ankle bracelet. After I got out of jail my probation officer Heidi Wiever, whom I no longer thought of as 'the Bitch', tried three times, without success, to make it work. As a result I had to phone in several times a day and got to know the monitors who were polite and a bit apologetic. Usually they have no contact with clients but we talked and joked about my unusual situation.

I was in no hurry to get a lawyer and tried to talk to the prosecutor, Elliot Z. Poll, but he adamantly refused to speak to me in person. I was angry, pissed off and depressed, as well as confused over what was happening. I hadn't thought much about a lawyer when I ran into Jim Heller. He said he was sorry he wasn't able to help me before and expressed interest in representing me this time. I'd known Jim Heller for several years, since before the 1997 preliminary hearing on the child-porn charges. I was very grateful for helpful advice he'd given me at that time by phone when I was cross-examining Detective Noreen Waters. He was also a friend of a friend in Victoria and I had discussed retaining him for my constitutional voir dire in 1998. He was not familiar with constitutional questions but I was interested in him anyway. However this was impractical because he was based in Victoria and legal aid would not pay his transportation costs. I ended up representing myself. I liked him, his heart was in the right place and I agreed to retain him for the new charges. He would do it on legal aid and I gave him a bit up front.

Another reason why I retained Heller was that he had represented my son in a trial and claimed to have a good rapport with him. I saw my son, who had become estranged from me as a result of the intense publicity of my child-pornography charges, as a key witness in my new trial. My son had told my ex-wife, with whom I am on good terms, that he had introduced Layton to me. I saw this testimony as extremely helpful if not crucial for attacking the complainant's credibility. When I was able to contact him my son angrily refused to testify and said he didn't remember anything and was vindictive towards me. He had been very upset by the media's attempts to contact him. In addition Jim knew another potential witness for the defence.

I watched him in court a few times. I attended a murder case in New Westminster where Jim was trying to get the verdict reduced to manslaughter. I was unable to watch the more interesting parts towards the end as the sheriffs had recognized me and Jim was concerned that my presence might prejudice the jury. There was little excitement in court and I did not form a strong opinion about his ability. Jim also told me he'd handled another sex assault case which at the time I saw in his favour.

Subsequently this former client of Jim Heller, JT, got in touch with me by e-mail. He had been charged with touching for a sexual purpose. I did not ask him for the details but this relatively minor charge, five years maximum penalty, can involve as little as a misunderstood pat on the bum to genital fondling. (The case I described earlier is an example.) The former client's preliminary hearing had been handled by another lawyer and JT was optimistic, expecting an acquittal. However he breached his bail conditions when he rode his bicycle through a playground, and was remanded in custody. His lawyer for some reason was not available and after months in jail and one week before his trial he became desperate, and got in touch with Heller whom he knew and had dealt with previously. While he did not have high regard for Heller he was anxious to get out of custody, and retained him. He said that while initially keen on his case Jim came to feel his chances were poor and advised him that if he wanted to reduce the likelihood of spending more time in jail he should change his plea to guilty. He did, but subsequently regrets it believing he had a good case. He wanted to retroactively withdraw his guilty plea and get a new trial on the basis that he received bad advice from his lawyer. He was having a problem getting funding to do this from the Legal Aid Society.

My choosing Jim Heller was a major blunder.

My Relationship with the Complainant

I set out my relationship with Layton North during the period I knew him, from 1979 to 1983, and submitted this as an exhibit at my trial. The relationship was not a stable one and after the first year there were long periods when I only saw him infrequently. At the time I did not attach much importance to it; he was just the youngest of many people I knew and associated with. This is what I wrote and submitted:

I met Layton North at my apartment on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano which I'd recently moved into in August 1979. One evening when a few friends, and my son who was then sixteen, were over at my apartment my son went down to the 7-Eleven store below my place where he met Layton. They may have played some video games together and Layton found out from him that there was a small party at his father's place upstairs. Anyway he came up with my son and asked me if I had any empty bottles he could have to cash in for deposits. We were drinking beer and I let him in to pick up the empties I had. He asked if he could hang around until there were more empties. There were maybe seven or eight mostly younger people in their late teens and early 20s present. Layton was an intelligent and personable boy, and stayed for an hour or so seeming to have a good time.

Several days later Layton buzzed my door and asked if I had any more empties. I let him in to take what I had. He was a skinny, talkative, precocious and curious boy with a sense of humour who looked about ten or eleven. He started dropping by frequently mostly in the late afternoon and evenings when I was home from work and on weekends. He told me he was good at chess and we played a few times but I was no match for him. I introduced him to backgammon, a game I enjoy, and he quickly learned the basic strategies. Layton was polite and generally well behaved and he met and mixed well with my adult and teenaged friends. Some of the people who came around were gay or bisexual and one or two were men who were often accompanied by teenaged friends. This did not seem to be an issue with Layton. He became accepted. It wasn't long, perhaps a couple of weeks after our first meeting, that he brought over his best friend, Travis, and then Don followed by several others, including a girl. Travis and Don became regulars. At the time I was into social photography, taking several rolls a month. I have dozens of pictures of Layton and his friends taken at my apartment mostly seated around my dining table.

It was a very busy period of my life and my place was the centre of a diverse social scene. In addition, as one new to teaching I had to spend a lot of time reading, preparing lessons and marking. I was also helping a friend renovate his large rooming house in the Old Shaughnessy district on weekends. Sometimes, if I were busy Layton would have to entertain himself with TV, books and looking at photo albums. He wanted more attention than I was prepared to give him. At such times I would usually play a few games of backgammon with him as a break from work before he left. His friends would often hang out with him watching television or doing other things. A few of my friends played chess with him. The most popular game was zilch (played with six dice),because it was simple and unlike backgammon it could be played with several players.

Sometimes visitors crashed at my apartment and occasionally I had people staying with me for a week or more whom Layton met. A few times Layton obstinately refused to go home and he threatened to make a scene if I didn't let him stay. I didn't want him staying overnight; , it might raise suspicions if he did, but I didn't want a noisy scene either. I would let him crash on the futon in the living room. Sometimes at 4th Avenue I was a bit uncomfortable about Layton and his friends hanging around: It wasn't the 60's any more, but except at the end things went smoothly.

Layton said he was always broke and told me that he was embarrassed in front of his friends as he couldn't pay his own way. I began giving him a few dollars every so often, mostly for video games, and occasionally up to ten for a concert or something special. I never remember him saying anything about having no food at home or complaining about being hungry. He was skinny but not unusually so, and he always had plenty of energy. As with anyone else, if he was there at meal times, which was not that often, I would feed him, and he knew he was welcome to help himself to what was in the fridge. He was a picky eater and I do not remember him as having much of an appetite. Food was never an issue. I do remember criticizing him for buying junk food with money I gave him instead of healthier food I had and would offer him. A couple of times he told me his mother needed money for rent and pleaded with me to help her. After talking to his mother on the phone I would arrange to give him a hundred dollars or so. That is how I first met his mother. Layton once took me over to his home on W-5th Avenue but I don't remember if I went inside.

Layton was curious as well as bright but with his short attention span he would get impatient with detailed explanations. He was curious about sex, especially gay sex and he seemed fairly sophisticated for his age. He asked me all sorts of questions and I tried to answer them as best I could. He was very interested in who I had sex with and who I liked for sex. I told him older teenagers, boys who'd reached puberty and were sexually mature. He told me that his friend Travis who was the same age as him had pubic hair, and he asked if I liked him. I told him no, not that way. He would make a point of proclaiming that he wasn't a "fag". He mentioned that years before a baker in Surrey used to fondle him and said that his uncle "did me". The second time he told me I asked if it hurt and he said no. Later he modified his story to say that his uncle only masturbated in front of him. Sometimes when I was urinating at the toilet he would join me in the bathroom and 'cross swords'. I did not think that this was unusual and casually mentioned it in my police interview. However later the prosecutor pointed to this as suggesting there was an indecent atmosphere at my place. Twice at least he used a carpenter's tape and after modestly turning away and rubbing his penis, he measured it in front of me. The second time a couple of months later he was disappointed that it hadn't grown. Twice Layton had a bath at my place and I remember him calling me in to scrub his back. He kept a face cloth over his genitals.

I had two cars during the time I lived at 4th Avenue; a compact 1961 green Comet station wagon which I replaced in May 1980 with a large 1968 brown Biscayne station wagon. While I lived there Layton and I never went anywhere; our relationship entirely consisted of him and his friends dropping by. Layton probably never knew about the Comet station wagon and I don't recall going anywhere with him until after I bought the Biscayne in May 1980, and it was only after I moved to Hawks Avenue did he ride in my car regularly.

Layton and his friends smoked pot at my place. At first I was reluctant to let him smoke pot because he was so young, but he assured me that he smoked at friends' places with their mothers, and that his mother did not object. They were eager and related convincing stories about smoking before. The pot was usually mine but on occasion they brought their own to share, or smoked that of other visitors. It was a social thing and we generally only smoked in the evening with friends and visitors. I don't think I ever gave him pot to take with him because that would be a stupid and dangerous thing for me to do if he ever had to explain where he got it. He could smoke at my place but not take any away. He may however have occasionally pilfered small quantities. I smoked cigarettes at the time and he was continually mooching. During the time I lived at 4th Avenue I had frequent visitors, several guests staying a week or more and occasional parties. When others were drinking Layton would be offered a beer but he didn't particularly like it.

Towards the end of my time at 4th Avenue, Layton with some of his friends in the lane below my windows started calling up to my place, "Fucking faggot" and other abusive things. I was furious and felt threatened particularly as I worked as an instructor at a local college. I don't know why they did this, perhaps some offence they had taken, or maybe just being macho. I was outraged and felt betrayed by them. My neighbours, some of whom I knew, could have heard them. That incident would have been the end of the relationship but a few days later Layton phoned and said he was sorry and begged to be allowed to come around again. We talked and I told him that I couldn't stand for such behaviour, and assumed he knew why, but knowing the macho attitudes of kids I could see how the incident happened. I relented and allowed him to come around again but he couldn't bring any of his friends who had been with him that time. I don't believe I ever saw Travis, Don or any of his other friends again. The incident was a major crisis and our relationship was never as relaxed again. I saw him a couple of times more at 4th Avenue before I was evicted as a result of a loud punk band party. After the shouting incident I had no desire to protest the eviction. It was well over a year when I moved back to Kitsilano that I saw Layton with any frequency again.

In November 1980 I moved to Hawks Avenue in a gentrified part of Strathcona in Vancouver's East End. My place at Hawks was the lower level of a three-story row house which I extended and remodeled as part of an arrangement with the owner. The renovations took a few months of part time labour. My space was smaller than my 4th Avenue apartment and not self-contained being separated only by an open staircase from the main unit. The bathroom and main kitchen facilities were shared, although I had a sink and counter appliances. Visitors would enter through the front door upstairs. Unlike Kitsilano I had no friends in the neighbourhood and my place was not busy socially. Visitors would usually phone first instead of just dropping by. Layton would phone me and a number of times I picked him up in Kitsilano and we would either come back to my place or go for a drive perhaps visiting friends. He may have bussed over sometimes but I would always give him a ride back to Kitsilano after. There were long periods, months I believe, when I didn't see him. He never stayed overnight at Hawks although I had a young woman staying with me for a while and a couple of boys from Burnaby would sometimes crash late at night. I saw Layton on the average of maybe once or twice a month mostly on weekends during the fourteen months I lived at Hawks Avenue compared to several times a week during most of the time I lived 4th Avenue. He brought over two new friends, boys a couple of years older than himself. There was less to do and we started going on short day trips, and on a couple of occasions one of his new friends came along. Once I rented a small outboard at Horseshoe Bay and we cruised around Howe Sound. (I have pictures of Layton steering the boat.) When we went out for drives or on day trips I tended to avoid restaurants. I would get 'take out' instead. As a fifty-year-old man with a young boy who did not look like my son I was cautious in public places. At Hawks he met other visitors and sometimes played chess with them. I never excluded Layton from my social life. As I saw him much less often than at 4th Avenue I probably gave him less pocket money as a result.

It was at Hawks several months after I moved there that I began taking nude pictures of Layton. He would have been about twelve and a half at the time. The place was less busy, there were fewer things to do and Layton was often bored. He had always liked having his picture taken and seeing the prints when I got them back. He was quite photogenic and I had taken hundreds of him and his friends at 4th Avenue. I avoided giving him copies because I didn't want him showing them around and having questions asked.

I had seen and admired a few coffee-table books featuring nude boys and youth. I had never taken any nude photographs and never asked any of the teenagers I knew who I assumed would not be interested or be particularly good models. Layton however was interested when I mentioned it. In answer to his question I assured him that there would be no sex. I was quite aware that the pictures could be embarrassing to both me and Layton, and told him they would be kept private. I bought some black & white film so I could develop and print the pictures myself. At first he thought I only wanted pictures of his genitals and I had to explain to him that I wanted artistic pictures, not pictures of his cock. He proved to be a good model and I was pleased. After the first session he insisted on being paid and I would give him ten or so dollars in addition to the small amounts I usually gave him. I took three or four rolls of nude pictures at Hawks. While I was living at Hawks I got tenured status as an instructor at Columbia College, and feeling no more need for a utility vehicle I sold my station wagon and I bought the 1978 cherry red Ford Pinto, a personal car.

While I liked my place I decided that I wanted to be closer to work and around the beginning of 1982 I moved to Kitsilano on West 6th Avenue near Columbia College, not far from Layton's home on West 5th Avenue and fairly close to Lord Tennyson School, which he then attended. I began seeing him quite often again, although not as often as when I lived on West 4th Avenue. Here I had a private bathroom and set up a temporary darkroom and developed several rolls of film and printed about thirty pictures. I showed him the darkroom and explained the process but I did not print any photos with him there. He had a limited attention span and would get bored. Printing would take a few hours and I couldn't open the door once I started without having to re-tape around it.

He examined the prints. Some he liked and some he didn't and I let him tear up those he didn't like. I had taken a few more rolls of him in nude poses, including a series in an arbutus grove above the Squamish Highway, when he decided he wanted to destroy all the pictures. We sat at the kitchen table, tore up and burnt the prints and negatives in a large bowl and exposed the rolls of undeveloped film.

A couple of months later he asked me if I wanted to take more nude pictures of him. I told him that there wasn't much point in it if he was going to want to destroy them. He promised he wouldn't, and said he wanted twenty dollars for each roll. I agreed. I had just seen on display in a West 4th Avenue store window a poster-size print of 'Neil', a famous nude photograph taken by Edward Weston of his son. I developed the idea of a project to photograph Layton from his present, early pubescence up to his late teens. Layton became an eager model and perhaps most of the indoor pictures I took of him were while I was living at West 6th. Amongst the first pictures I took were the ones of him bathing, some of which show an erection and him masturbating. He told me he often masturbated when he had a bath. Later he became more commercial in his approach, demanding more money for posing. Most of the pictures were taken as a series. We would discuss the poses beforehand and some of the poses were his own ideas.

That summer, 1982, I took Layton up to the South Okanagan, where I took several rolls of nude pictures of him on a mountain overlooking Peachland and at Twin Lakes between Penticton and Keremeos. We stayed one night with a friend of mine in Penticton and visited a waterslide park near there. I dropped him off with relatives who lived a few miles north of Penticton and he made his own way back to Vancouver.

It was while I lived at West 6th that I lent Layton's mother $1200 to purchase a ProFeel videocam so she could record the home birth of her child. I visited her basement suite on Moss Street with Layton to discuss the loan with his mother and another woman, her sister I believe. Layton had not made any requests for money to help his mother since 4th Avenue and she said she could repay me with her sister saying she would help. I did not remember the details of what was arranged; it was not a formal contract, but his mother gave Layton the repayment installments to pass on to me. This arrangement worked satisfactorily for most of the repayment period.

It was later on at my apartment on West 6th Avenue that sexual activity began. The two of us had gone to Wreck Beach near UBC, a clothing-optional beach which was frequented by gay men in the early 1980s. We wandered some distance along the beach and came back. It was cool sunny day and we'd seen only a few men sunbathing. In a secluded wooded area back from the beach I began taking some nude photos of Layton. He soon complained that he was getting cold so I only took a few frames, two of which were in the Crown's exhibits, and were the only outdoor ones not taken on the Okanagan trip. While I cannot state with certainty I believe this was in the late summer or early fall of 1982 when Layton would have been fourteen. I was never aware of his birthdays and at the preliminary hearing he said his family did not celebrate them.

Layton wanted $20, a full roll price, for just the few frames I'd taken, which I was reluctant to pay him. Resting in the car after the steep climb from the beach Layton commented on the nude men, the "fags" we'd seen. As he'd said on previous occasions, he claimed that he would never have sex with another guy - "Not even for a hundred bucks". I joked that he needn't worry and opened my wallet which had only a twenty-dollar bill. He looked at me and with a mischievous expression and took the bill out of my wallet. I was surprised. He was excited but insisted that it was one time only, to which I agreed. I was also excited and confirmed his intent as we drove back to my place. I did not in the legal sense 'take all reasonable steps' to ensure he was above the age of consent. I did not think of it; I had known him for years and was sure he knew what it was all about. I felt he was capable of making the decision. He didn't want to talk about it. Back at my place he immediately pulled down his pants and plunked himself down on my bed eager to be fellated. After, he again insisted that it was only this one time. A few days later he wanted something and it was only this one time again. I'm sure it became seductive because he obviously enjoyed being fellated. Although I didn't find him as attractive as older teens, I enjoyed serving him and he sometimes he willingly did me favours. Desire on his part was clearly a factor but we both used money as a rationale or excuse for sex. I understood this and always tried to treat him with respect. There were other teenagers visiting me at the time that I also fellated. Sometimes boys were insistent.

It was after this that we went on a three-day trip to Vancouver Island where we spent a night camping on the West Coast with 'Wayne' and another friend of mine. I had already arranged the trip during my teaching break and Layton asked if he could come too, as school would not have started. It was a social occasion and I took many photos but no nude ones of Layton. On the beach beneath a starry sky he crawled into my sleeping bag and blew me. I was delighted.

Expecting to be sharing I rented a new two bedroom townhouse at East 31st at Fraser Street where I took several rolls of him, but when the arrangements for a roommate didn't work out I soon moved into a highrise on Nelson Street in the West End. My place there was fairly busy socially as it was very central and I soon met people in the West End. Layton was only an occasional visitor coming by to deliver his mother's payments and when he needed money. As he got older his 'needs' increased and he was always wanting more money for various things. I often resisted which made him angry. He had changed over the three years I had known him. He was becoming more independent, confident and assertive. I saw him less frequently and assumed he was developing new interests. I took fewer nude pictures - I wanted to wait until he was older - but he negotiated higher payments for the times he posed. Layton had good business sense. He didn't tend to hang around although we still played backgammon occasionally. He delivered most of the money but I found out through his mother that he must have kept a few hundred dollars for himself. I didn't feel I could pressure his mother for the money owing as I had trusted Layton. I was very angry and confronted him. He made excuses, but as a result the situation became very strained again. I only saw him a couple of times at my apartment after that.

The last time I saw him was in the summer of 1983 when he phoned me and said it was very important that I meet him at Broadway and Arbutus, several miles from me. He would not explain why. My car was being repaired at the time so I took a taxi. When I arrived his bicycle had broken down and he wanted me to take it to his place, presumably the Moss Street address. I was angry at him for stealing the money and told him I wouldn't, that I didn't have enough money to have it carted. Layton became very angry and started swearing at me. I left. While I expected to hear from him again I never did. This was, I believe, shortly before he moved to Kelowna. I did not know that he moved.

Most if not all of the rolls of Layton I had accumulated I developed after I lost contact with him, shortly before I left Nelson Street to travel. It takes a fair amount of effort to convert a bathroom into a darkroom and several hours to make prints. Layton did not see these prints. In any case, I would not have wanted to let Layton see them as I worried that after seeing them he might decide to destroy them all again.

Except at the beginning when it was more novel and exciting the sex was never a very frequent thing. It was mostly limited to me fellating him while playing with his perineum, which he enjoyed. He would pull down his pants, lie back on the bed eagerly, and wave his hardon at me. He tended to be quite demanding and particular about what he wanted; he gave orders. I would do my best to satisfy him. Overall, sex occurred more like twenty times than the two hundred he claimed. Often there would be something he wanted and he would express interest in sex. He was motivated by desire and curiosity as well as material things. He was not an affectionate person and I never thought of kissing him. He was not someone I'd hug when I met him. He could be mean and unsympathetic of others. I didn't feel sorry for him. He was usually cheerful with a happy-go-lucky attitude. He would ask and plead for things but he didn't whine all the time. I would only give what I felt was necessary for his dignity. But I never gave him enough and he said I was cheap.

The Complainant's Interview

When I received the Information from the Crown Counsel, Mr. Elliot Z. Poll, I had a much better idea of the case. The key document was the forty-page transcript of Mr. North's interview by detectives Ray Beisick and Glynis Griffiths where he related, often in great detail, a tale about how when he was eleven I'd picked him up hitchhiking, negotiated a deal about posing in the nude, taken him back to my place, plied him with food, hashish and cigarettes, taken a role of film of him posing with his genitals exposed and paid him for his services. Then, according to his story, in a matter of weeks we were having sex, and the relationship continued until we had a falling out over him stealing a large chunk of hashish, or when he left Vancouver when he'd been fourteen.

When asked about his home life he relates a tale of extreme neglect where from an early age he was often hungry. Lack of food is a consistent theme throughout the interview and is used to explain his relationship with me. I can only believe that he was advised to emphasize this as I never recall him mentioning it. Food was always available but he seldom ate much and was a picky eater. Small amounts of money I gave him mostly went for video games. In his interview he said his mother was a vegetarian and never bought or prepared meat. Later at trial he said that his mother bought expensive health foods which he was not allowed to eat. He described her as a night owl who did not make breakfast or prepare school lunches for him. He had an older half brother and two younger sisters.

The interview focused on sex. When Detective Beisick asks him about the first sex he had with me Layton says it was a blowjob under covers in a darkened room. "I remember an exquisite sensation, like an orgasm." (He was supposedly eleven at the time.) A while later he says the first sex was a hand job. Asked if he ejaculated. He explained that he hadn't hit puberty but, "I was a late bloomer, I guess." He later says he didn't reach puberty until fifteen and a half, which would seem plausible. He remembers details of conversations about anal stimulation. He says I asked permission the first time. Beisick pursues the anal angle in a leading fashion and asks if he went to doctor as a result: How...how about anally, would a doctor have noticed anything out of...? "No, because it was just a finger, it wasn't anything... I mean it would hurt, but yet it would feel good." Asked how many times I blew him he answers, "Well if you really need a number, I would say a couple of hundred times at a minimum." And masturbation? "Geez, at least that many times." If you can believe him about only doing it for money simple arithmetic suggests he would be a rich boy, or rich enough to attract attention and raise awkward questions. I believe he was trying to give answers he thought the police wanted.

As for posing nude Mr. North remembers not wanting to strip completely. He says he pulled down his pants but is not sure if he took off his shirt. He says I asked him to smile. He told Beisick, "I didn't like to smile. I don't know if you guys have these photos, but I don't remember smiling. In fact, I would like to make faces at him. It sticks out in my mind that I would ... I would frown maybe, or not smile, but I don't know if that's what came through in the photos." He has recast his boyhood: In the photos he came through as a cheerful, imaginative and uninhibited exhibitionist.

Afterwards he claims he was disgusted with himself and wanted to prove he wasn't gay but says it doesn't matter anyway. He got married at twenty and led a stable life since. Sex with me was just to get food. Amongst other things he admits to stealing - pot and small amounts of money - and claims he got teased about hanging out with a gay man.

Asked why he came forward he said it was "because I heard Robin a couple of years ago, his name was mentioned on a news report.... And then I continued to follow his story throughout the courts as it went through the media." He may have watched the Supreme Court of Canada hearings in my case on the Canadian Public Affairs Channel, CPAC. "And about eight months ago, I've been... so you know, I was wondering why they were not looking for people, you know, that... in all this. And about six, eight months ago, I phoned and I thought... I thought maybe you guys might want some information. I thought the police, you guys, you know. I thought... I thought I'd phone. I phoned your administration line, 717 something." He says he ended up leaving a voice message. He seems to want to help the police. Several months later he says he heard on the radio the media release put out by Detective Waters that the police were looking for the boy in Sharpe's pictures they had seized. "... they were putting a plea out. And that was it, I phoned them. And that's why I came forward, I was just..." Later he says he doesn't know what his motivation was. He seemed to think at the time that he could keep it secret from his wife. He finally settled on the fact he has kids. He repeats wanting to help the police.

The detectives inquired if I asked him to recruit (pimp) other boys for him. Mr. North says "Yeah". He immediately says that he would never go along with that but then speculates that could have happened. This vagueness may be that he recalled asking me if I 'liked' Travis, 12, letting me know that he had pubic hair after I'd said I liked older boys. This, I believe, was another instance of trying to give the police the answer he thinks they want. He also denied ever having sex with anyone before he met me. However he had told me tales of an uncle and a baker in Surrey who fondled him when he was younger.

Mr. North provided the names of his boyhood friends as corroborating witnesses. The police subsequently interview three of them. None had any information of interest to the police and none wanted to testify. On July 17th Mr. North viewed some of the nude photos of himself and was very shocked. He never believed that he posed completely nude. He cannot recall any of the outdoor locations. ;

After going through his interview I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. To me it was clear that his hitchhiking tale was a blatant fabrication. I felt, given the facts, its falsity should be obvious to others. Given the obvious inconsistencies and the 'nice' things he said about me, I still entertained the possibility that he might have been leaned on or pressured into laying a complaint. I wanted to know if Mr. North had a criminal record or was facing charges, which could give the police leverage. I knew this type of thing happened and I knew that certain members of the Vancouver police were very anxious to get me. I tried to find out, but all I gathered from one contact was - erroneously as it turned out - that Mr. North lived in Burnaby and had a minor record. I also looked into possible financial incentives. There had been substantial payouts from victim compensation funds for victims of historical abuse in institutional cases such as Mount Cashel, the Ontario and Nova Scotia training schools, and Indian residential schools. For individual cases I discovered that payouts were not as easy or generous, and that the most he could probably expect would be money to cover therapy, which did not seem to be a factor in this case. Of course he may not have been aware of this. He had not sought any help and only at the time a victim impact was being prepared did he visit a psychologist. This, and the fact that before he contacted police he never told anyone about his 'abuse', not even his wife, suggests that his relationship with me was not a big concern. The question of motivation still puzzled me.

Unknown to me at the time there was a local businessman and vigilante, Doug Stead who formed an organization Entrepreneurs Against Pedophilia (EAP), which was offering $10,000 for information leading to convictions for child sex assault involving a breach of trust. Stead was also a director of the American Anti Child Porn Organization and of the International Society for Policing of Cyberspace which hosts conferences for law enforcement officials. It is difficult to believe that Stead would not know Detective Noreen Waters, the anti-child pornography crusader. I assume the offered reward was paid out.

Based on the material in the Information to Crown Counsel I constructed timelines of all the listed items. First I went through all the records, notes and summaries of the police involved beginning with the date of decision on my child pornography charges on March 26th, 2002. Detective Waters obtained copies of the exhibits in that case in early April. Initially they believed the photos of Layton were of another boy. On the morning of May 29th a press release was given out appealing to the public for help in identifying a possible victim of sexual abuse mentioning my name and 'photos'. The release indicated the approximate years the pictures were taken, the boy's approximate age at the time, an incorrect location where he lived, and that he had two younger siblings and a pregnant mother. Initially I couldn't figure out where the police had obtained this information and suspected that they had already been in contact with the complainant before he came forward. Apparently one hour later Mr. North contacted the police and was soon on the phone to Detective Waters. She immediately forwarded to Detective Nancy Yingling a copy of my Personal History, taken from my 1993 letter to Dr. Edward Brongersma that they had seized. Detective Yingling obtains a written statement from Mr. North outlining incidents of sexual assaults and child pornography, beginning the day when I picked him up hitchhiking. The next day Detectives Ray Beisick and Glynis Griffiths were assigned a VPD file alleging sexual assault. They subsequently seize most of the exhibits from my earlier pornography trial three days after the expiration of the 30-day period after sentencing for their return to me. I had made several attempts to get them back earlier but was told they were not ready. I felt the delay was deliberate. Among other items I would have got back was the Brongersma letter.

Detectives Beisick & Griffiths interviewed the complainant on June 10th and received personal photos of him and a school report card. On August 26th - exactly one week before the expiration of my conditional sentence - Detectives Beisick & Griffiths arrested me at my residence. Prosecutor Elliot Paul opposed my release wanting me kept in custody until my trial. Three days later I was released and I received my copy of the Information on September 3rd. My preliminary hearing was set for June 10th and 11th, 2003.


I was already working on my case carefully going through and analyzing everything in the extensive Information for Crown Counsel and thinking of strategies and questions to ask. I felt that the complainant's tale about how we met and how the posing and sex came about would not stand up in court. I was so confident that I decided on trial by jury rather than judge alone. I was reassured by the fact that Jim Heller was accustomed to dealing with juries. I started sending him a large amount of information that might be relevant to the case and prepared timelines and statements. Going back to the time I knew Layton I went to a great deal of effort to establish a timeline of where I lived at different periods when I knew Layton. I had or could find all the addresses and I went to the Registry of Titles and found out the present owners of the addresses. I wrote to each trying to establish just when I lived there. Except for 4th Avenue, which the police had been able to obtain records for, I was unable to find out anything. At Hawks I knew when I moved in on the basis of when I left 4th Avenue, and the owner at the time who is a friend was able to give a good estimate of when I left. Old telephone directories provided some help. I thought this information would be important, especially for my residence on West 6th Avenue, because that was where some of the key events of my relationship with Layton North occurred. I also obtained Insurance Corporation of BC records for the three cars that I owned from before 1979 to after 1983. The police information provided timelines for Layton's residences for the same period. Very little of this proved useful as aside from odd details Mr. North did not recall any place I lived other than 4th Avenue and incidents occurring elsewhere were often conveniently ascribed to 4th Avenue.

I became disappointed when Heller did not seem to keep up with the material I was sending him and which I wanted to discuss. He was of course busy, and unlike me he had a life, but nevertheless I was a bit uneasy. I did not want to represent myself; I did not want the stress, responsibility and bother, but it was always a possibility in the back of my mind

Preliminary Hearing

The preliminary hearing wasn't until June 2003. The Crown's case focused on the testimony of the complainant. Up to then I had thought that perhaps that the complainant had been manipulated somehow and that he might be somewhat reluctant but he wasn't. Layton North, as I call him in this book, was a good witness for the Crown. Under direct examination he spoke confidently and related a tale of poverty, gross maternal neglect and fearfulness. According to his tale I, whom he immediately suspected was gay, had picked him up hitchhiking when he was just eleven and within minutes persuaded him to pose for nude photos because he was hungry. He recalled, or rather invented, details of the conversation and negotiations. Within weeks the sex began, without which he claimed the relationship would have been ideal. The tale was not very logically thought out or consistent but overall it fitted in with police and activist theories about predators and it pushed the right buttons. A poor, vulnerable, hungry boy unable to finish high school who reforms himself, stops smoking pot, gets a steady job, marries and raises a family makes an impressive complainant. And I was a convicted child pornographer and poster boy for pedophilia.

I soon had growing reservations about Jim Heller and was not too pleased by his cross examinations at the preliminary hearing, although he did develop a few interesting leads. I thought he was not well prepared or organized. I felt he should have been more familiar and analytical with the material we had. He barely pushed the complainant in cross-examination and did not pursue a number of lines of questioning I thought he should have. He said he wanted to lull the complainant into thinking he would have an easy time at the trial. I didn't agree. Then contradicting his approach he used photos from the camping trip that I'd recently pointed out to him, to refute Mr. North's claim that there had only been the two of on it. Mr. North had to admit he was mistaken but the opportunity was wasted. Jim said he did this to give him a taste of what he could expect at the trial. The incident later backfired at the trial.

Jim did bring out Mr. North's conservative, authoritarian nature and the fact that there were problems in his family although I couldn't see how this could help my case. It did become clear that the decision to come forward was Mr. North's alone. He did not even consult his wife, which I felt showed a lack of consideration for her and his children. While he gave a number of basically altruistic reasons, his motivation for coming forward was unclear. I thought that Jim was not well prepared and I expressed some misgivings but I genuinely liked him and figured he could do the job. I did not want to seek another lawyer and I did want to be without one. Having a lawyer is a security blanket, and with the trial scheduled for February 2004 - some eight months later - I could be a lot more relaxed in the meantime. Jim seemed quite sensitive and, as I felt it was important to keep him positive, I toned down my criticism for the sake of the relationship. Our legal relationship was complicated by social factors. Not long after the preliminary hearing I had pretty well done all the preparation I could, and spent much of my time working on a post-apocalyptic novel Blood & Semen.

The trial date inevitably approached and things seemed to pick up. We had a number of telephone conversations and I spent a day with him at his Victoria office. I looked over the 130-odd nude photos I'd taken of Layton and arranged them into series more or less corresponding to the number of photo sessions, which was approximately twelve. It had been years since I last looked at them. I did this to have a basis of countering Mr. North's statements that I had taken pictures of him hundreds of times. Jim made it clear that mine was not a profitable case for him.

Taking Pics of Naked Boys

My conviction allows me to say things I couldn't have if acquitted. Presumably the pictures were destroyed some time after the trial and are no longer incriminating, but I do not underestimate the cunning of the police if they are motivated. I am happy to have the nature of my photos discussed and wish I could use them as illustrations in this book. The public should have the right to know what is deemed child pornography. Aside from classified state secrets, it is unique as the only evidence that cannot be publicly known. Only the judge or juror have the right to 'know' the dirty pics, and they are essentially asked to opine if the material would give a pedo a hardon, or whatever plethysmographs measure, before deeming it to be child pornography. This, I believe is the common interpretation of sexual purpose in the Canadian legislation. The British have ossified their standards in a supposedly objective multilevel system.

Nudity has long been associated with art, in particular nude boys and youths. The estimated 20,000 statues of nude boys in Europe attest to this. Many artists and consumers of art believe that the male form is more aesthetically pleasing than the female. Of course most of these may well be males themselves. Images, especially photography, offer more opportunities for depiction than sculpture. The subject is at the heart of the image or series. A series may show a boy undressing, or if he has some flair, stripping. The striptease is an art form most boys are aware of even if they have never seen one in real life or the media. Some boys have the basic idea of modeling and get into performing. Taking pics of naked boys is much like taking photos of any posed or conscious subjects. The model needs to have an idea of what the photographer wants and the photographer needs to know what the boy can do and likes doing. An imaginative and expressive model will probably have ideas of his own. A good working relationship will improve the scope and quality of the product. And a little money is only fair in view of the potential risks the boy takes. The pornographer should be cautiously generous.

But naked pics can get into the wrong hands, more likely now with the internet. Being identified by the wrong people is the greatest danger a boy participating in pornography faces. The last people boys may want to see getting hold of their pics is of course, the police. Exposure can lead to humiliation, shaming and adverse legal and social consequences. With the demonization of child pornography and adult-youth sex in recent decades, the adverse effect on the kids involved has increased. Some naked pics such as those taken by taken by foreign tourists are extremely unlikely to come back and haunt the boy even in this day of the Internet. This may be changing through the activities of various vigilante groups and NGOs such as ECPAT which in their zeal to convict offenders show little concern for the young people involved. I doubt if any boys, even sophisticated Western youth understand the voodoo concept, promoted by so called advocates and recognized by our courts, that they are re-abused every time their pictures are used for erotic enjoyment. But then many intelligent rational people even in Canada do not believe that either.

My photos according to the Crown psychiatric expert were "typical" of the child pornography he has seen. It almost seemed like an admission that the 'typical' is radically different from what the police typically imply. Nevertheless, these are pictures whose mere possession can send a man to jail. Detective Noreen Waters went through my photos and deemed them all as porn. In her estimation all frontal views automatically depict the genitals for a sexual purpose and all rear views depict the anal region for a sexual purpose. Because the police, their auxiliaries and conservative friends tend to misrepresent my pics of naked boys, I offer a summary

At my initial bust at the border in April 1995 the police seized ten photos of two blond Caucasian boys and one roll of undeveloped film which contained images of a dark teenage boy posing and fooling around. The two naked blond boys, who were both 17 (and mentioned as such in correspondence the police seized), were lovers at the time and frequent visitors. They had asked if they could borrow my bedroom for a while, and had just emerged without dressing. I still know them and talked to each shortly after the decision came down. They never, as I'd promised, got to see the pictures where they were in party mode, beer in hand, and went no further than hugging and kissing. The dark boy in the undeveloped roll was partially aroused probably turned on by being photographed in the nude.

Thirteen months after the first bust, when I had become complacent, I was unexpectedly arrested, and the police contrived a search warrant and seized fourteen boxes of evidence. (Arguments about the validity of the search warrant took up a week at my first trial.) This seizure included more of my writings, my correspondence, my image-free computer, and about 400 photographs mostly of naked boys I had taken in the previous fifteen years. Out of these 400 pictures in my charges, 123 were of Layton North, the complainant at ages thirteen and fourteen. These latter were all 8X10 B&W prints that I developed and printed myself. I considered many of them to be my most artistic pictures. I certainly tried - Layton was an imaginative boy and an expressive model.

These pictures of Layton were made up to 20 series taken on different occasions. Some were naturist pictures showing Layton playing in bushes, jumping, running and climbing trees. Others show him eating. lounging, posing with props such as a lamp or rebounder, doing a strip tease, bathing, and mugging the camera with different attitudes. Sometimes Layton has teasing or coy expressions. In others he is pensive, as in two photos which show him sitting in a lotus position contemplating his erection. About six of these photos show him erect and two show him masturbating. No one else appears in any of these photos. In addition to the nude photos I probably took about a thousand frames of Layton and his friends in social situations around my place during the years I knew him.

Most of the other pictures I was charged with were simple nudes from series taken at various Third World locations. There were maybe 40 photos of a nude Asian boy looking about eight, but older, playing in a stream, doing exercises, eating a mango and standing around. Many pictures of this boy, who was a disappointing model, were made into a collage. There are two close-ups of his genitals, one showing the difference with the foreskin retracted. I have written in my journals about how Filipino boys go about getting themselves circumcised. He was a vendor boy who went around to restaurants with a tray of cigarettes. I would buy singles and tip him, and as he was cute and eager, I took his picture holding his tray and drinking pop. The restaurant where I often met him was run by his uncle who had seen me with teen boys and liked them himself. He asked me if I'd like to take pictures of the vendor boy. He was much too young for my sexual tastes and I wouldn't know what to do anyway. But he had a nice face and smile and we arranged to take photos near an aunt's place over an hour by bus outside Manila. Naked, the boy was disappointingly babyish; he was an obedient but not very creative model.

There was a series of about 20 pictures of a sexually mature boy about sixteen doing a slow strip tease and casual poses in the nude with no arousal depicted. He was a friendly lad who hustled tourists in more ways than one around an open pool hall in a small resort town. There was a 12-picture series of four early- adolescent boys on a rocky tropical coast. They are depicted in swimsuits, taking them off, and cheerfully and variously posing in the nude. They'd demanded twenty pesos to take off their swimsuits. No arousal shown. I saw them many times after and one became a long-term friend, but I never took nude pics of any again. Years later one told me he was fourteen at the time and shaved his pubic hair because tourists liked it better.

There were maybe 40 pictures of a sexually mature boy about fourteen in a few different series. He was an occasional hustler that I met through others. I was quite fond of him; he was pogi (Filipino term for male beauty), expressive and fun. However his English was very weak but he had an 18-year-old friend whose English wasn't, and I took him along with us on trips to resorts so he would always have company. In one nude series he is clowning around inside a bamboo hut swinging from a beam. In another, he is wearing white briefs and lounging in a hammock while sensuously eating mangoes. I took other pics of him along a mountain trail, up in a tree, and playing in a waterfall, all with just his shoes on. While there was no arousal shown in these pics in another series he is with his older friend and they fondle and engage in mutual fellatio. One, a curvaceous composition that I thought it was artistic, I kept and it was the most sexually explicit in my collection. Both boys became part of my social scene in Manila and frequent dinner guests. There are also several single-series photos of various boys, most of whom hung around the Corner, a place I have described in several of my writings. Except for the youngest, the vendor boy mentioned earlier, they all hustled and liked having their picture taken. Most of the boys would get the film developed and printed for me, something I appreciated as it saved me from possible embarrassment. They would look them over and sometimes ask for certain photos. Some wanted nude pictures of themselves to give to their girlfriends - a reasonable request I couldn't refuse. None of these boys expressed any concern about what might happen to their pictures. Some would be flattered by the idea of men jacking off to them.

I also had a coffee-table book of Sidney Smith's ink drawings, and mementos of two friends who'd died, including a few photos of boys they had taken on their travels. There were also a few worn pages from old 1970s kiddieporn magazines which I regarded as rare and worth keeping as only a limited number were printed and most had been destroyed or seized. I had not appreciated that digital processing through the Internet would give most of this material an eternal life, one I could not have hoped to achieve with my petty hoarding.

Recently I have been heartened by teens sexting and posting sexy, titillating and nude pictures of themselves. This may herald a saner approach to sexuality among young people which hopefully will spread into older generations. We are of the flesh and boys are most beautiful in their teens. Stripping, showing off and teasing comes naturally, and of course we notice their genitals, which may be prominently displayed. If culturally inculcated shame diminishes as the young create their everchanging sex positive media society as a whole will benefit. Boys do like to show off and most are proud of their cocks.

Detective Waters

It was clear from the Information that Detective Noreen Waters had been behind the media appeal that supposedly led Mr. North to come forward. His story about making an earlier attempt to contact the police may well have been true, and while the police never returned his call - perhaps they lost his number - Noreen Waters may have been aware of a call having been made. It is also possible that the police or were already aware of Mr. North, and the media release, answered in the first hour, was a self-promotional measure by the police. Detective Waters had gone to extraordinary efforts to get me previously when she had taken over the moribund charges against me in Surrey in 1995. She became the investigating officer, had me placed under surveillance for a week, and she organized my arrest and the search warrant for my place in 1996. She testified against me at the preliminary hearing in 1997, the voir dire in 1998, and at my trial in 2002. I wanted Jim Heller to show how this tied into her political activism in getting written material added to the definition of child pornography, and that my pornography case was to be the vindication of her activism. She was bitterly disappointed by my acquittal on my stories. I wanted to suggest that she was biased. Of course, as Heller pointed out this could be also be construed as evidence of her diligence and dedication to her job. This was largely a personal matter on my part - it had taken up seven years of my life, as I'm sure it was very personal matter on her part as well. It was however not all that relevant to the case. The police knew they had a boylover in their sights - I'd publicly admitted it and they were therefore very anxious to get me this time. I didn't think they cared much how. Detective Waters is a woman of faith and truth may be whatever serves her ends. I think this explains her lies and distortions.

For example, she also misrepresented my writing to the media and senior police authorities by falsely stating that it included snuff stories where children were murdered for sexual gratification. This cast my Flogging, Fun & Fortitude tales in a completely different and pejorative light. Her crude distortions became the descriptions generally accepted by the media, and she was in effect a very influential literary critic. Journalists feeding on each others' falsehoods created a new conventional wisdom. She told David Carrigg of the Vancouver Courier that boys were murdered in my stories. Snuff is not what I write and I took offence at the accusation. Subsequently another Courier writer, Sandra Thomas, asked me for an interview. I checked her articles on the paper's website finding unflattering inaccuracies and descriptions of nasty things I never wrote. In an article on the cover of The Vancouver Courier (November 19th, 2003), staff writer Thomas is also hopelessly confused. She has the BCCLA defending my writing after I had been convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography. The BCCLA was out of the picture when I was subsequently convicted only of possession, no thanks to morally righteous civil libertarians. I dwell on this in my earlier book R. v. Sharpe: A Personal Account where the BCCLA helped shift my initial acquittal at voir dire on privacy issues to one based on freedom of expression. Thomas also concocts, or perhaps borrows from Detective to Noreen Waters' malicious fabrications, a story called "Boyabuse" (there was no story by that name although it was the name of the collection) that she says describes the kidnapping a six-year-old boy, tying him up and then beating and sexually torturing him. This is an outright invention. Perhaps Waters borrowed details from another case she was familiar with as she'd done before. What do you call a fictitious piece of fiction? Ms. Thomas somehow has the BC Supreme Court erroneously believing my stories were on the Internet, and she seems to have John Russell, then president of the BCCLA, sharing her nasty nonsense. Once again the basis of my acquittal on the writing is ignored in order to hammer artistic merit as the reason. I declined to be interviewed by Ms. Thomas. I had become very cautious about the media as a result of my statements being creatively edited to convey false and derogatory messages. I preferred live broadcasts.

More significantly, Detective Waters told Sergeant Sylvie Bourassa-Muise, Unit Manager of the National Child Exploitation Centre, that in one of my stories there is a scene where the narrator drives a spike through the skull of a child. Bourassa-Muise innocently repeated this lie in her testimony as an expert on child pornography before the Commons Justice Committee considering child pornography legislation, Bill C-20. Further evidence of Detective Water's perfidy is found in the testimony given before the justice committee on Bill C-20 by Sergeant Sylvie Bourassa-Muise, Unit Manager of the National Child Exploitation Centre. She had this to say about my stories:

Of course, we take the notorious writings in Sharpe. I don't know if you were ever privy to the actual writings in Sharpe. They weren't fantasies such as we're going for a picnic in a park on a nice little blanket and we're going to play kissy-kissy, play as if we're on a date with another adult. Those were not the stories... These depicted... I wasn't privy to those, but certainly a friend of mine, Detective Noreen Waters, who was a primary detective in that case, recounts one scene where the writer is saying that there is such joyous and sexual gratification from driving a spike through the skull of a child.

This is an outright fabrication and evidence of Waters' vindictiveness. It was not her imagination however, but a detail she had borrowed the detail about the spike from one of Clifford Olson's eleven child murders, that of Ray King Jr. This is something she would have known as a member of the Vancouver Police at the time. This detail was publicly known although it may not have appeared in the mainstream media. Detective Waters knew that no one would contradict her. At one point in her investigation Waters was even trying to connect me to Canada's most heinous serial killer. Anti-pedo websites made such an association very clear. I have come across other atrocious fabrications about my writings in mainstream Vancouver newspapers which I suspect were fed to them by Noreen Waters.

I wanted Jim to tackle her integrity to suggest a police bias. At trial Jim did ask her about her involvement in my previous case and she used the opportunity to introduce false derogatory statements about me. She claimed contrary to the evidence at my previous trial that when she came to arrest me in 1996 I answered the door naked. When awakened by the police at my door I had grabbed a T-shirt to cover myself. The police had testified to this. This evidence was not available and no written transcript had been made. She would know this and simply used the chance to say I opened the door naked. This is typical of Detective Waters' zeal-backed mendacity. She used her answers to gratuitously derogate me. It was a lie but what could he do? Jim backed down and did not cross-examine her further. I had prepared a long series of questions for Jim to ask Detective Waters but he was not up to the job. She had flustered him. It was now a question of damage control. Reluctantly I had to agree. The question of her spreading falsehoods about my writing, claiming they were snuff stories, for which I had prepared documentation, was never broached. It probably would not have mattered anyway.

I had assumed, erroneously, that if we could show that Mr. North's tale was implausible and in error that I would be acquitted. Without his tale there was no evidence that I had sex with him before he was fourteen. I had testified that I wasn't certain (a mistake) but that it probably occurred after, and that would be the only evidence.

The Trial

When the trial began we spent more time together going over various points but Jim didn't seem to be organized or have any plan of what to do aside from attacking the complainant's credibility. It was clear from the Information that Detective Noreen Waters had been behind the media appeal which supposedly brought Mr. North forward. His story about making an earlier attempt to contact the police may well have been true and while the police never returned his call, perhaps they lost his number, she may have been aware of a call having been made.

I wanted to show how this tied into her political activism in getting written material added to the definition of child pornography and that my pornography case was to be her vindication. As a point of personal honor at the trial, I wanted to show the extent of her bias. Fighting these cases had taken up seven years of my life. Of course, as Jim Heller pointed out, what seemed like her fixation in using the law to attack me could be also be construed as evidence of her diligence and dedication to her job. The question of her spreading falsehoods about my writing, claiming they were snuff stories - a falsehood I had clearly documented - was never broached. Perhaps it would not have mattered anyway.

Nevertheless I was angry, and wanted to expose Detective Waters. She has been misrepresenting my writing all across Canada and indeed her judgment has been accepted uncritically by most.

2Mr. North in Direct at Trial

For convenience, readability and to avoid repetition I have included a few points made by Mr. North at the preliminary hearing in his trial testimony given in direct testimony when questioned by the Crown. The main difference in his testimony was that at trial Mr. North better understood victimological theory and 'remembered' more incidents and details, and also expressed a more vindictive attitude. He had polished his testimony and was more confident and daring.

Mr. Poll began by reviewing Layton North's early school and home life leading up to and including the time when I knew him. Mr. North, who lived with his mother and two sisters, related a story of gross neglect. He claimed his home was dirty, unkempt and overrun with cockroaches, and that although he had his own room he didn't like bringing friends home. His mother, a vegetarian, and possibly a hypochondriac according to Mr. North, was lazy, self-centred and did not cook for her children. He said she never made him breakfast and that there was no food in the house to make his own. Neither did she make him school lunches or give him money to buy lunch. He explained how embarrassed he was when the teachers seeing that he had no lunch would ask other students to share theirs with him. Hunger was the reason that he didn't like going to school. He had given practically the same account in his police interview and at the preliminary hearing. At trial he added that one reason why they had no food may have been because his mother would buy expensive vitamins and creams from health-food stores, and he told the jury that she would not allow the children to eat her expensive organic food. The emphasis on food, or the lack of it, served to back up the complainant's claim that it was food that drove him to engage in posing and sex. He said he was ashamed to his teachers, the family social worker and his relatives about this miserable home life. It probably also got him sympathy from the jury.

The prosecutor then asks Mr. North about how we met. He repeats the tale he gave earlier, curiously qualified by "I believe", about hitchhiking on West Broadway, when I allegedly picked him up. He had earlier indicated that this had been in 1979. He said he was probably skipping school and was heading west but didn't know why he was hitchhiking or where he was going although he said there was a video arcade a couple of miles farther on. He had said earlier that there was no urgency. Inconsistently at trial he did say at trial that he would hitchhike on "a desperate basis". He did not hitchhike on a regular basis, that he was "a pretty timid little boy" and was very wary. At one point he says he was "as yellow as they come". He does however claim to remember that it was a warm sunny day with "big mashed-potato clouds" and that there was a beautiful sunset later.

In trying to explain why he got in the car he says he felt "very, very comfortable" and that my "demeanor was very friendly and charming". Earlier, in his police interview he said that I was wearing a "dorky shirt" and "I would say, and you know, wouldn't you right off think if you see him driving by that he was a gay man". He describes the station wagon - which he rode in a number of times but which I only bought in May 1980 - as the vehicle he got into. "I got into the car because I felt comfortable and safe," he said somewhat remarkably - and inconsistent with his asserted timidity and repulsion from gays. I think the truth is that Mr. North did not think out this part of his fabrication very carefully.

He said we drove out around UBC and along by Spanish Banks beach, something we did on later occasions, and back to my apartment on West 4th Avenue. He 'recalled' many details of the conversations we supposedly had on the drive. I had asked him what grade he was in and why he was not in school. He also recalled the words I said when I allegedly propositioned him into posing for nude photos at my place and the price he agreed on. Somehow there was an agreement that he wouldn't have to take his pants off, "just pull them down". He finds it difficult to give up his righteous boyhood fantasy. He describes going to my apartment. In his preliminary testimony he claimed that my bedroom was already set up for taking pictures when he arrived as if I was expecting him. He testified that before the picture taking began we argued about him taking his pants right off. I may also have offered him drugs. When he first saw some of the nude photos Detective Beisick described him as shocked that he had ever taken off all his clothes. He also testified that he didn't smile, despite my requests, and that he remembered frowning. He 'recalls' the conversations. He claims that he was very embarrassed and that his face turned beet red. This is in direct contradiction to the evidence of photos themselves and he only reluctantly admitted that he was almost always nude and usually smiling. He said he spent the money on video games "and food".

Mr. Poll had Mr. North describe subsequent visits to my place and the discussions that took place. Mr. North testified that he told me about his dismal home situation, the filth, the cockroaches, his sisters and how his mother never cooked for him. He went on to describe breakfasts I supposedly cooked for him (this only occurred a couple of times when I couldn't get him to leave the night before) and includes accurate details about my food and cooking. He claimed that posing continued but that we argued over the price. And then, "Robin and I eventually (less than two months later) had sex together." He was vague about the first sex, how it came about and what actually happened. The first time surprisingly does not stick out in his mind because, he claims, he confused it with subsequent incidents. I'm sure he remembers the actual first time as well as I do, which may account for his fuzzy fabrication. However, he then describes a possible first time under the covers in a dark room with the convincing detail that I removed my dentures. Throughout his entire testimony he tosses in little details that make his 'recollections' seem more genuine. In his police interview, for example, he described the "exquisite sensations" he experienced while being fellated but left this out of his trial testimony. He believes he got thirty dollars and remembers having to wash up afterwards. Mr. North, I believe, added the details of covers, darkness and washing after to make it seem that he was disgusted at the time. He reinvents his boyhood persona while admitting his boyhood reactions.

According to him sex became a regular thing at 4th Avenue. When the prosecutor asked him how often sex occurred Mr. North was surprisingly evasive. While estimating, accurately I believe, that he visited one to three times a week, he claimed that there was a routine of posing or sex or both and that, "It seemed to happen a lot." In his police interview and at the preliminary hearing he estimated that sex occurred up to at least 400 times which at even twenty dollars a time would, I'm sure he realized after, have made him a wealthy boy.

When asked about the frequency of posing nude Mr. North finds it difficult to estimate because he confuses it, perhaps deliberately or out of ignorance with my extensive social photography, usually in colour. It is hard to see how social, usually group snapshots taken at my place could be confused with formal posing sessions where we were alone. This 'confusion' is clearly bullshit. He claims for that for both posing and sex he always insisted on being paid and that I would try to talk him down. He always had to fight for the money he needed. At trial he avoided the question of frequency and digresses on his need for food. The number of times he had previously claimed posing would have suggested many times the number of photos in the exhibit.

Poll asked Mr. North about anal sex. He claimed that I digitally penetrated him and that he cried out in pain. He had, with encouragement, mentioned this in his police interview saying, "Well, I guess we should divulge all, shouldn't we." He said, "It would just happen during (oral) sex." When I fellated him he liked to have his perineum and anus stimulated, and I always try to please my partners whatever their age. Originally he downplayed the anal aspect saying, "It hurt, but yet it would... felt good." However the story grew and become embellished with each retelling until at trial it becomes a "shocking experience" and "really painful" and he remembers "sort of crying out". Conversations and details are added. Mr. Poll places great emphasis on this and encourages Mr. North with probing questions to give details. The complainant asks how much detail he wants and the prosecutor replies as much as he can recall. At one point Jim Heller found a minor contradiction in the complainant's testimony and raised an objection about exactly what the complainant had said, and his testimony was replayed. He scored a petty point but at the cost of validating Mr. North's main testimony and giving him an opportunity to further embellish his elaborate fabrication.

Mr. North also claimed that I asked him to watch me perform anal sex on a young friend of mine. When I first met Layton he had asked me about anal sex and I had mentioned that my friend and I had once tried anal sex but it wasn't fun and I gave up on it. From this conversation Mr. North constructed a tale of very painful sex, complete with shrieks and pleading. Like other of his fantastical sex fabrications it was embellished with recalled details and conversations. It occurred in a very dark room, and he was appropriately "utterly repulsed" at the time. My friend, whom I still see regularly, denies that any sex whatsoever occurred when Layton was present. Mr. North also claimed that I offer this friend's petite girlfriend to him for sex, adding, "if Robin offered something to me it was available." This may have been an actual fantasy of Layton's at the time but it was not something I would have ever thought of doing or that my friend and the girl would have ever considered. According to Mr. North, who had just been describing all the sex he'd allegedly been having with me, said "No way." He said he was "scared to death", explaining he was scared to get naked next to a full grown woman and having to show her his body. If such an opportunity had ever arisen I'm sure Layton would have been very eager, not fearful and modest as his updated fantasy has him. In another tale, probably also originating in a fantasy he had as a boy, he claims I asked him if he would like sex with a woman who visited me from time to time and with whom he played chess. He also apparently watched me have sex with this friend. Again it was a dark room, he "just saw a big bulge under the covers" and he describes the sounds of lovemaking. He also claimed that I promised to buy him a prostitute for his fifteenth birthday. With all the joking and teasing that went on this last could well have happened, but it would not have been serious. His fabrications were so outrageous, creative and malicious that months later I found it difficult to read them in the transcript without becoming upset.

Mr. North had mentioned in his police interview bringing his boyhood friends over to my apartment on 4th Avenue. This was, I believe, to establish that he knew me then. He had said that they would corroborate this. The police were able to contact two of them, Travis and Don, and interviewed them and other family members. Both however managed to avoid being subpoenaed by the Crown, and my attempts to contact one of them through a mutual acquaintance were fruitless. The other, who lived in the outer suburbs, disconnected his phone. In both his police interview and at the preliminary hearing Mr. North made a big deal of how I had tried to get him to pimp one his friends but this was barely mentioned at the trial. I believe that their testimony would be far more useful to me than to Mr. North. He no longer knew them and had claimed that they got into a life of crime while he straightened himself out. After his early statements Mr. North minimized the presence of his boyhood friends at 4th Avenue and even denied he knew some of them when he was shown photos of himself with them. They were by implication other small boys I must have had around my place.

Mr. Poll asked Layton North if I had ever met his mother and he was uncertain although he admitted that she knew me. Unless his memory had badly failed him, which is entirely possible, I could only see one reason why he would not remember, given the fact he introduced us and acted as the go-between. This was the matter of the loan I had made to his mother to buy the video equipment and his theft from her of payments she was making to me. This theft was what effectively ended our relationship, not the theft of the chunk of hash he concocted as a cover.

Discussing his nude posing briefly the prosecutor brings out Mr. North's claim that he always had to negotiate each time, and that I would resist saying he was getting food and pot. He claims to have particularly resisted posing outdoors. He recalls fairly accurately the first time he posed outdoors above the Squamish highway in a grove of arbutus trees. I liked them because of their smooth skin-like bark. He also seemed to believe that he posed nude on a camping trip to Vancouver Island, which he didn't, and had no recall of the trip to the Okanagan, where almost all of the outdoor pictures were taken. In a point that Mr. Poll was to twist in his summation, Mr. North had originally claimed at both his police interview and the preliminary hearing that just the two of us went on the Vancouver Island camping trip. Jim Heller, on the one occasion he tripped up Mr. North at the preliminary hearing, had shown him a photo I took on the trip showing him with two other people around a late-night campfire, and Mr. North had had to admit we were not alone. At trial he still could not remember but admitted he was mistaken. Mr. Poll subsequently praised him for his courage in admitting his mistake. It would have been stupid to do otherwise.

The prosecutor began showing Mr. North some of the nude pictures I'd taken of him asking him if he can remember if sexual activity had begun when the picture was taken, and how old he believed he was at the time. He could not recall any of the photos being taken except for one picture I took as a bit of whimsy showing a close-up of his penis with a ribbon tied around it. Mr. North claimed that he had objected to that picture at the time, even recalling the conversation, but had reluctantly allowed it. Another lost battle in his unequal struggle. The prosecutor goes through a number of photos, and except for that one Mr. North had no recall. The next day Mr. Poll asks him how old he thinks was at the youngest in the nude photos. He answers ten or eleven because, he says, "he looks so skinny". He would have been twelve-and-a-half when I took the first nude photos, but these were subsequently destroyed. He would have been well over thirteen in the photos in the exhibits. According to his own account he did not reach puberty until he was fifteen-and-a-half.

The prosecutor questions Mr. North about how the relationship ended. While saying that it happened gradually, he claims that it came to an end when I discovered that he had stolen a large chunk of hashish. He righteously adds that he isn't like that now. He was using this as a substitute for the theft of his mother's loan repayments to me, which was the real reason. The big, big, big chunk of hash was his invention. It avoided the awkward problem of admitting he stole from his mother and it reinforced the druggy image of me.

Mr. Poll, to impress the matter on the jury, asked Mr. North to describe it, and the witness used his hands to indicate the size of the imaginary chunk. Jim Heller supposedly understood that it was a fabrication as I mentioned it in a letter to him and I had gone over it with him beforehand. However he interrupted Poll's questioning to ask that there be an exact description for the record. Mr. Poll was delighted to oblige and Mr. North used his hands to indicate the thickness, length and width of the chunk. At this point Jim Heller interrupted again requesting a more exact description of the quantity. For some reason the size of the imaginary chunk became an issue for Jim. The prosecutor says that he is just about to do that and Heller thanks him. Mr. North using his hands describes a shape that Mr. Poll says is about six inches long by three or four wide and two inches thick. Mr. Heller again interrupts saying he doesn't want to quibble but it looks like eight inches long. At this point the witness cleverly offers to draw a picture of it to which Jim says, "Great." The drawing is duly made, entered as an exhibit and given to the jury to examine. The imaginary chunk of hash has become real, exaggerated perhaps but real nevertheless, and in effect validated by my lawyer. How could Heller later contend that it never existed?

The prosecutor makes another attempt to question Mr. North about the frequency of oral sex; it's almost like he's curious. Mr. North, after saying how complicated the question is with all the other acts that happened, and having the question rephrased, says it was more than twenty, possibly more than fifty and but probably not more than one hundred. Like much of his testimony, Mr. North's estimate of how many times sex occurred changed. In his police interview he said I performed oral sex on him "a couple of hundred times at a minimum," with him masturbating me "at least that many times". At that time he said, "I wouldn't do sex without money". He said he usually got between fifteen and thirty dollars, once sixty-five, but never over a hundred. I suspect that when he read the transcripts of his earlier testimony he realized that his original estimates were highly improbable as he would have been quite well-off for a young boy. Why Mr. Poll felt that the number of times was important escapes me.

Mr. Poll then asked how in a general sense he felt about his relationship with me. Mr. North said he liked me. I was not violent and did nice things and was not a bad person. This was unavoidable given the nice things he said about me earlier and which were essential for the claim that I was in a position of trust. That said, he launches into a lengthy moralistic statement where he would want to kill anyone who did the same to his kids and speculates that I was "born that way".

He repeats some of the reasons for coming forward discussed under motivation, adding that he wants to prevent me from going to other countries and abusing vulnerable children there. This angle he had picked up from discussions with Rosalind Prober of Beyond Borders in the courthouse corridor during breaks. Beyond Borders is an activist, ECPAT-affiliated group based in Winnipeg that campaigns against child prostitution and child pornography in the Third World. Ms. Prober knew of my travels to Southeast Asian through my writings, which were discussed at my previous trial on child-pornography charges where her group was an intervenor. He claimed that I had told him stories about 'abusing' boys in Thailand and Mexico. While I had taken a brief holiday in Mexico when I was recovering from cancer in 1974 I never met any boys there and I did not go to Southeast Asia until after I knew him.


Mr. North had performed well during his testimony in direct and I'm sure made a good impression on the jury. Jim Heller agreed and appeared worried. I felt he was discouraged. He seemed to have no plan of attack and asked me what he should do, and I said that it was obvious that we had to attack his credibility. I was becoming quite concerned myself, perhaps more by my lawyer than the complainant's testimony.

3Mr. North was able to be both prudishly moralistic and talk about the exquisite sensation of having his cock sucked, and pleasure from anal/perineal stimulation. The more times the merrier, apparently. Yet he also saw himself, at least in retrospect, as shy and modest. As a boy he was an exhibitionist, which made him a good model. As an adult he may simply be amoral. This may be part of his pragmatic atheism. One way to understand North's statements is to ask what he would likely know and emphasize at different stages. When he came forward he probably knew that being under fourteen at the time of the first sex would be important for his allegations. Whether or not he had developed the basic idea for the hitchhiking tale by then is unclear. This could have come out of his initial conversation with Detective Noreen Waters.

4As an internet user he may have picked up ideas from anti-pedophile websites or just reading mainstream media. The tale was fully, if not consistently, fleshed out by the time of the police interview. It is impossible to know to what extent, if any, he was coached. In his police interview the detectives' questions would give him some idea of the answers they wanted. This is clear from watching the interview. Where he was not prepared he probably answered according to what he actually remembered if it did not threaten the main thrust of his allegations. His recall of details, such as my brand of aftershave, added authenticity to his tales of abuse although these details have no connection to his allegations. He had indeed watched me shave on at least one occasion.

5Even Mr. Poll admitted that Mr. North did not remember a lot of things, that a lot was a "blur". Certainly Mr. North has very little recall about posing. He doesn't remember posing nude, but he remembers not taking his pants off and always frowning when I took pictures of him. In many of the nude pictures he is smiling wide and naturally in a way that I couldn't have demanded of him. I should point out that I had already been sentenced for these photos at my earlier trial. Layton North has rewritten his boyhood so that he always had the same narrow, moral views he has now; that's why, for example, he remembers always frowning. However, when he remembers the alleged hitchhiking incident, he 'remembers' all sorts of details - where we went, bits of conversation, and that I was wearing a "dorky shirt". I suggest it was so detailed because it was recently fabricated. When it comes to the sex he described it in graphic detail; when it comes to posing he supposedly can hardly remember anything. By the time of the trial basically anything he thought could help convict me, he 'remembers' clearly and he kept coming up with new things to accuse me of on the stand. It was as if his testimony was a work in progress.

Mr. North showed himself to be very eager to make new accusations. It was as if he were the prosecutor. He also twisted things. As a boy he was a very curious; he asked me lots of questions about sex, especially gay sex, he apparently knew other gay men through a friend's mother and had previous homosexual experiences that I was not allowed to ask him about at trial, but which are discussed in the Dr. Brongersma letters, which the prosecution relied on for other information. I had told Layton about attempting anal sex with a friend he knew and that I gave it up, and told him if he ever got into gay sex that anal sex was something to avoid. My telling him this story changed into something that traumatized him to watch. This twisted something that Layton was curious about into an incident about which his newly-constructed boyhood could express disgust. The fact that Mr. North applied his adult values to what he did as a boy is further evidence his testimony is untrue.

Mr. Heller's Cross Examination of Mr. North

Jim began by questioning Mr. North about his early childhood, about the adequacy of the social assistance his mother relied on, and whether his kindergarten teachers were aware of the fact that he was not being properly fed, as he claimed. He asked if his teachers inquired about his home life, and the involvement of social workers. I doubt if there is anyone who can recall such things about their kindergarten and elementary-school years, and Mr. Poll correctly objected. While Jim did show some inconsistencies in Mr. North's recall of things when he was five- to ten-years-old, the main effect this line of questioning was to create sympathy for the witness. I started to feel very uncomfortable. For example, Jim pushed the complainant on whether food was the only reason for difficulties in school. Well it wasn't, but at one point Mr. North had said it was. So what? It was difficult to see what advantage he would gain if he 'won' every point he was trying to make. They all related to the question of reliability of his memory, not credibility of his testimony. He continued to hector the witness who handled his questions adroitly. Mr. North was looking good and I could see my expected acquittal slipping away. It was painful to watch, it was like I was approaching a precipice, and I was scared. I felt I had to stop Heller.

Mr. North didn't know and could not be expected to know the answers. Heller continued to ask about his teachers and relatives and their knowledge of his problems. Mr. North had mentioned at trial, and earlier in his police interview and at the preliminary hearing, that an elementary school teacher had asked other pupils to share their lunches with him. Jim asked him the name of the teacher, and when the witness could not recall, he asked what grade he was in. I cannot fathom what use this information could have been. When Mr. North was unsure Heller pressed him to say which grade and he said grade six. Heller took that to mean that the problem hadn't occurred earlier and asked if that was what he was telling the jury. Mr. North says he is answering to the best of his recollection. Jim Heller continued to hector the witness about trivial points relating to his teachers and what they knew about his home situation. He even had the witness read parts of the transcript of the preliminary hearing and questioned him on some minor inconsistencies. Mr. Poll objected that there were no real inconsistencies and they quibbled. Then Heller had his recent testimony replayed to resolve the point of whether just one teacher knew about him not having lunches or all the teachers knew. Apparently he had said all but one stood out in his mind. Mr. North becoming more confident, effectively parrying Heller's questions about his elementary-school situation and answers them as well as one could expect anyone to do over twenty years later. Heller was making unreasonable demands on the complainant's recall of events when he was five- to ten-years-old, and the discrepancies he brought out were inconsequential. To me and to others I discovered later, it appeared that the witness was getting the better of my lawyer. It was painful to watch. I felt Jim was digging himself into a hole and became extremely worried and agitated. I couldn't handle it, and in front of the court I asked him to move onto something else. This was, as I was aware, a serious breach of etiquette. Jim was furious. I felt bad about what I had done. I was sorry but...

After a break Heller continues to ask Mr. North about the question of food and whether it was responsible for his problems with school. The witness replies that that was one of the biggest problems. Heller reads from the preliminary transcript where Mr. North was more specific about food being the problem. Mr. North says he wants to read the whole transcript so that he can understand the question accurately. The point seems to be of little consequence but an early lunch is taken to allow the witness to read the transcript.

Heller's question is whether he had any reason other than food for not attending or staying in school. . He had other reasons and the witness uses the opportunity to relate more things about his "crappy childhood". Heller persists asking the reason why he wasn't in school the particular day when I allegedly picked him up hitchhiking. How could anyone be expected to know even if they were truthful? The nitpicking over details of the witness's recall go and on for pages. Did his mother "sometimes" or "one time" drive him to school? Heller suggests that the witness can't really recall what happened that day before he met me. Mr. North says he is doing his best but on several questions Heller presses him to be more exact. He points out vagueness of time and season, and small inconsistencies between his various statements. Mr. Poll objects to his manner of questioning. None of the points are really relevant and the main effect I think is to win the witness sympathy with the jury. He could have 'won' every point and it wouldn't have helped my case. Jim seems to grasping at anything to challenge the witness without seeming to touch on anything of real substance. Poll objects again about the manner of questioning. Jim Heller continues to make issues of small points. From being fairly confident of acquittal I could see myself convicted. At the next break I told Jim that I was discharging him.

I felt that Jim's cross examination of Mr. North was literally pathetic. It was the final straw that led me to discharge him. We had agreed that it was essential to cast doubt on Mr. North's credibility, and I felt that there were many weaknesses we could attack. Jim, I believe, had become unsettled by Mr. North's confident and damning testimony under Poll's questioning and the fact that he got nowhere with his objections. I had remained confident during the trial so far, but Jim's apparent pessimism was affecting me.

In perhaps the cruelest and most humiliating thing I have ever done to anybody in my life, I interrupted him in court and publicly fired him. At the time I saw firing Jim Heller as a matter of survival, although in retrospect I believe I should have stayed with him. I don't think he would have won, and if he had lost I would have blamed him certainly, and this was a factor in my decision to dismiss him. I certainly erred in saying I would continue as my own counsel the day after tomorrow. While I knew the material better than Jim, I was weak in terms of courtroom skills and not prepared to deal with a resourceful and unscrupulous witness. Even at this stage I should have tried to find another lawyer, which could have been difficult if I were allowed to do so. It would have also meant a significant delay, and after nine years I couldn't face more stress and uncertainty. As it was I asked for only one day to prepare for my cross examination of the complainant, which was not enough. I was weary from my legal troubles, which robbed me of my usual life, and did not want any more delays. I was impatient and stupid.

6Layton's Mother

7In his testimony Mr. North stated that his mother badly neglected him, claiming that she never made him breakfasts, never made him school lunches or gave him money for lunch and that the teachers had to ask other children to give him part of their lunches. He said she didn't cook and serve meals, she didn't buy meat for him and his sister, and that the children had to fend for themselves. He even claimed that she refused to let her children eat her organic food because it was so expensive. It was a horrible story of neglect

When we heard his mother testify we got a different story. She admitted that there were difficult financial times when food was a problem, but she said she got Layton up in the morning, saw that he had breakfast, and regularly drove him to school. She said she bought meat for the meat eaters. She denied that she wouldn't let her children eat organic food and said she did not buy it at the time. She said she cared for him and loved him. In retrospect I felt I should have pressed his mother harder about the claims her son made about how badly she had treated him as a boy but I didn't want to hurt her.

Was his mother such a bad mother? I don't think so. We can't know the truth for sure but we know from his testimony that Mr. North didn't want his mother involved. When he first made the claims about his lack of food he said he didn't expect she would ever know about them. I suspect that the main reason why Mr. North made such a big deal about a lack of food was to provide a morally acceptable justification for posing and engaging in sex. He was desperate. That and money were the only reasons Layton did those things. He could not admit that as a boy he enjoyed them. He was prepared to grossly exaggerate his problems with food and accuse his mother of neglect to back up his allegations against me. Layton never told me about a lack of food but he did tell me how embarrassed he was that he had no money for playing video games so he could keep up with his friends.

On the Stand

Firing Jim Heller put me on the spot and was one thing that led me to testify on my own behalf. It opened up a can of worms, complicated the trial, and led me to take the stand and be subject to cross-examination. The Crown could now introduce a number of things, including the Brongersma correspondence they seized. I was over my head. The chance to save myself by a few judicious lies was long gone. I tried to be as honest as I could. I had my reasons. For one thing, I'm an incompetent liar; for another, lies are a problem to remember while the truth is easy - it's what happened. It's not going to set you free however - quite the opposite in some cases. Mr. North in his early statements in the police interview had probably innocently said that Robin never lied to him, but I doubt if mentioning that would influence the jury. Maybe it was my image/concept of the jury. I had viewed them more or less abstractly as a judicial concept until I noticed them avoiding eye contact with me when they returned to the courtroom during their deliberations to listen to the tape of a transcript. But what is the mind of a jury? What Jim Heller and most people seem to believe is that jurors strive to be morally and legally correct individuals with little sympathy for the bizarre diversity of life. In this context, one tinged with righteousness, they may be less tolerant in their deliberations than in real life. Beyond a reasonable doubt must contend with doing the right thing.

In cross-examining me Mr. Poll concentrated on a few narrow things. One was, why didn't I destroy my photos of naked boys when they became illegal in 1993? My answer made me appear both reckless and contemptuous of the law, and likely law generally. I said that I believed that all but a few of the images would not have been porn by any objective standard. Certainly, media coverage of what was being prohibited suggested that child porn must be well beyond images of nudes, that the pictures must be pornographic in the pre-1990 sense of the word. I also resented the implication that citizens should jump to comply with radically new legal demands, and I replied to effect that I am not going to go through my possessions tossing out what some law says is now a no-no. This was not the 'correct' answer, and may have confirmed a reckless, scofflaw image, but it was an honest one. Would your average Canadian male purge his porn or whatever on the basis of some new political diktat? "As of the end of the month anyone found in possession of any hard- core videos is liable to a penalty of five years' imprisonment." What would you do? I had simply assumed that the jurors shared some skepticism and hopefully cynicism about the Canadian political system. Maybe the citizens of this freedom fearing nation are wimpier than I thought. But maybe the received point was that I have contempt for all law, which is not true, but is true for the child- pornography laws, drug laws, and a few others. My attitude here may be part of the belligerency the prosecutor labeled me with in his summation. I suppose I should be happy to obey laws that gratuitously impinge on my liberty.

The prosecutor also made a big point about me denying any sex with the complainant in my police interview. He repeated this previously on several occasions. It proved I was a liar and suggested my whole testimony was not to be trusted. It was clear that the prosecutor was labeling me a liar; it was a simple repeat-it-often-enough-and-people-will-believe-it approach. It was also the only lie he had to work on. I had already explained to the court more than once why I had made what I considered necessary lie. I had done so to avoid remaining in custody until trial, something that Mr. Poll had requested and which would have made things easier for him. (I had assumed bail would be automatic, as in my previous case, but Poll vigorously fought it, arguing I was a known traveler and thus prone to flee.)

8Cross-Examination by Defendant

When I continued the cross-examination of Mr. North I asked him about the times when I had various cars. The records that I had submitted as exhibits showed that I had registered the green Comet in '78, the brown Biscayne in May '80 and the red Pinto in '81. He did not recognize the Comet but informed the court that it was a compact station wagon. He likely never saw the Comet as we never went anywhere together until I had the Biscayne station wagon. However in his testimony he clearly described the Biscayne as the car I was driving when I picked him up in 1979. He described it as the car in which I had picked him up, but he also testified that he rode in it several times, so he would have been familiar with it from other occasions. He did not know that I did not buy the large Biscayne station wagon until late May 1980. Then according to his tale, I would not have met him until after that. As records show that I left 4th Avenue at the end of October 1980, this would mean that he could only have known me there for just over 5 months, assuming he met me right after I acquired the Biscayne, not the year or more as he testified. He couldn't understand what I was getting at and was evasive.

I asked Mr. North if the day he met me is something he will always remember. He replied that he would remember the most important aspects: the photos I took of him. Curiously the posing he couldn't recall was more important than the sex he 'recalled' in intimate detail. If he had really had sex at that point he would have repressed it like he did the posing. In an attempt to show the lack of logic and contradictions in his testimony I asked him if it was correct that he had said at the preliminary hearing that he had no particular reason for hitchhiking that day. It was part of my plan to show that his hitchhiking tale was implausible. He had also said this in his police interview, and I had assumed that it was a question he would simply answer. He might have but before he could Mr. Poll insisted on me putting the transcript reference to the witness directly, page and line number. I had the reference nearby and was able to find it and the witness had to check another copy. Unlike the prosecutor I did not have assistants to have these references available when I needed them. Mr. Poll would insist on this repeatedly even for minor details where no point was served. It was a cheap tactic to make it difficult for me. It created delays and interrupt my lines of questioning making me appear awkward. It was a courtroom tactic not anything to do with determining accuracy. Mr. North did admit one of his specific statements confirming the point I had raised. I then asked if he hitchhiked regularly, something he had previously denied. Mr. North said he recalled that he had hitch-hiked with his mother, "not too often" but that it had just occurred to him. In the context this was irrelevant but it disturbed the questioning, and I had to rephrase the question in terms of hitchhiking alone. He admitted that it was unusual for him to hitchhike alone. I continued by asking if he was unusually daring in hitchhiking on that occasion. He said he didn't understand the question. I repeated it and he admitted that getting into my car was a daring thing for him to do. I then referred to him saying that he was a fearful boy when he met me and quoted him from his police interview. The witness confirmed this. Mr. Poll objected that I must put the statement from the transcript to the witness directly and I had to find the statement and read it out verbatim. Mr. Poll was deliberately (and I feel unfairly) harassing me, but then I suspect he was a zealot like Detective Waters. In the statement from the police interview Mr. North says he was very fearful growing up and relates a fear of walking the streets at night and a specific fear of fear of men in cars circling the block looking at him. (I suspect this is true.) Referring to what he said about being a fearful boy who yet hopped into a car with a middle-aged man wearing a "dorky shirt," I ask him if this wasn't out of character, especially as he'd said there was no urgency. He replied that it was broad daylight, that West Broadway was a busy street, and that he had to get somewhere. He added that in the car he felt it was safe to talk to me.

I asked him if he thought I was gay before he got into the car. He said no. I then quoted from memory what he said at the police interview: "I would say, and you know, wouldn't you have said that, yeah, he's a pervert or... but anyways." The fact that Mr. Poll did not insist on an exact reference for this quotation from the transcript suggests that he did not want the jury's attention drawn to it. I asked him if his initial impression was that I was a pervert. He replied that after he got into the car and we began talking that he had the feeling I was a nice person and that he was comfortable. When I asked him if he felt comfortable before he got in the car, he replied that he was very wary hitchhiking and didn't like to have to do that. When I asked him why he had to, he replied that obviously he did, because he had to get somewhere. When I then asked if he forgot where he had to go he said he didn't know.

I noticed Mr. North conversing with Detectives Waters and Beisick during breaks. The detectives had given their testimony earlier and it is a firm rule that those who have already testified cannot discuss their testimony with a person testifying after them. The reason is obvious: it could bring into question the person's testimony. I had thought that the rule applied to any communication outside the courtroom. I had no concern that the content of the detectives' testimony could be of any use to Mr. North. However, the detectives had no legal reason to be there in the corridors and I believed that their purpose was to coach him on how to handle and twist my questions. I raised the matter with Judge Edwards and he said it didn't matter as long as the detectives did not discuss their own testimony. Mr. North also huddled with Mr. Poll during breaks in my cross-examination. Again the judge saw no problem. Mr. Poll was acting as counsel for the complainant.

Mr. North said he remembered me being at Hawks Avenue and I began questioning the witness about his claim that our relationship remained the same after I moved to Hawks Avenue. Mr. Poll objected that I was not putting a specific reference to the witness. I should have asked for the reference in the recording to be replayed for the witness. Relevant to the witness's assertion that the relationship remained the same, that he continued to see me just as frequently after I moved out Kitsilano was the distance and effort involved. To provide some geographical perspective for the jury I had prepared two maps. One was of Northeast Kitsilano, showing my 4th Avenue residence and his home at the time, two blocks away at 5th Avenue and Balsam Street. The other, photocopied from a city map, showed, amongst other locations, my East End Hawks Avenue address as well as Northeast Kitsilano. I didn't think these maps, which I had carefully prepared from material in the police information as far these particular addresses were concerned, would be controversial. However Mr. Poll objected and Judge Edwards said he would allow them as exhibits for identification, but he could not allow them as exhibits until a witness has testified about them. As Mr. North was already on the stand I asked him. On the map of Northeast Kitsilano, Mr. North testified as to the accuracy of the location of two schools he attended, his residence on 5th Avenue, my residence on 4th Avenue, and Mr. Poll accepted the location of Columbia College (where I was employed at the time). On the larger map Mr. North also confirmed the location of my Hawks Avenue residence and two locations where he lived after his family left 5th Avenue. He could not confirm the location of three other of my residences. Even when I showed him photographs I had taken at the time, and as part of my preparation for the trial, he claimed to have no recollection of two of them - the two places where most of the posing and sex occurred.

I returned to the question of my car - the big brown station wagon - and he admitted that it was the car which I, according to his tale, had picked him up in, and that he had ridden in it quite a bit. He could not recall specific trips. I asked him how long he knew me at 4th Avenue. I had earlier statements of his that it was over a year, and he knew what I was trying to get at. He answered, "It seems like as much as a year, at least. But that's yet to be proven." He adds gratuitously that 4th was where things happened. I asked him if school was in session when I supposedly picked him up. He had claimed that I asked him why he wasn't in school when I met him. He answered that he couldn't tell me definitely if he was skipping out. He "felt" it was a school day. It took a few questions for him to admit that it was not during the summer holidays or on a weekend. I then asked him if it was 1979 or 1980. He said he didn't know what year it was. I asked him that given the fact that I left 4th Avenue at the end of October 1980 if that would help him answer the question. He said that would just prove that was under thirteen when he met me. (That was never in question.) I asked him if he was sure that he first met me while hitchhiking. He replied that he was "fairly certain". I asked if at the time I had asked why he was not in school. He replied that I "might" have. I mentioned that he had claimed that that was the first thing he mentioned in the preliminary hearing, and questioned him about the "might". Mr. Poll insists that I put the reference to the witness which I quickly found and the witness agreed it was correct. I assumed, or hoped, that the jury would pick up on the obvious discrepancies in his elaborate and detailed hitchhiking tale.

At one point he cleverly answers a question by saying, "Why don't you answer the question. You were there." Perhaps as a result of coaching from the detectives he increasingly starts answering questions with ones of his own. This is a disadvantage of doing your own cross-examining. He also starts using the familiar "Robin" more often.

I ask if we discussed prices when I asked him to pose soon after I allegedly picked him up. He recalls a conversation and a price of fifteen dollars a roll and a discussion on whether it was a 24- or 36-frame roll. I asked him why it made such a difference and he replied that because he would "have to stand naked and embarrassed for another damned 12 pictures." When I asked him if he enjoyed posing he said "... it was a job I had to get done in order to get money and survive." He recast his boyhood attitude to conform to his present one.

I attempted to question Mr. North if he didn't think it would be reckless for a man to simply pick up a boy and proposition him to pose in the nude. He replied that he wouldn't do that. I persisted in trying to get Mr. North to consider the logic of what he claimed I did, especially picking up a boy from my own neighbourhood. He replied saying that he hoped he "would never have to strategize to help a man to do that". I told him that was not the question. He complained that I had interrupted him again. The prosecutor objected that it was not a fair question and the judge pointed out that I was putting an argument to the witness which he was not obliged to answer.

Wanting to make it clear to the jury that I was not acting like one who was doing what the witness was saying, and that it was very unlikely to have happened, I then asked the witness if I gave him my real name. He admitted that I did. I then asked him if I took him to my residence. He admitted that also and went on to say that I was boldly open and proud of where I lived. I asked him if I let him come around again and again, and if I allowed him to bring his friends with him and that he met my friends and family. He admitted all this. I was going to ask the witness if he thought I was stupid given the things that he alleged were going on. The judge felt this was also putting an argument to the witness.

Mr. North had brought in his report card for Grade 6, when he attended Henry Hudson School. His purpose in doing this he said at trial was to establish that he was at the school at a certain age. He believed that he brought in more than one report card for the police and didn't know what happened to the others. While the report card indicated his year and class and was signed by a teacher, the spaces to show his marks for each subject for each term were blank. There were no comments. The only information relating to Layton's school work was that he was absent a total of 24 days during the school year September 1980 to June 1981. This period covers only two months of the time I was living on 4th Avenue. I asked him if he'd said the purpose of bringing in the report card was to show how poor his attendance was. He emphatically denied this. He claimed he didn't know if his attendance was worse than most students because he didn't have their records to compare with. I found this reply flippant.

While there were other reasons for his poor attendance, he had implied that I was partly to blame. I put to him a reference where he said that his attendance problems, "really came to a head when I met Robin". I asked him if he felt that I was largely responsible. He finally agreed. At the time I was never aware of him skipping school because I was usually at work during school hours and I was hoping to show he was blaming me falsely. When I asked him to what extent he blamed me he launched into a moral lecture saying I should have encouraged him to go school. When I objected to this the prosecutor accused me of interrupting the witness, and the judge stepped in to ask Mr. North if he had more to say. The witness seized the opportunity to demonstrate his rectitude, "Yes, I.... if I had an 11- or 12-year-old boy in my presence during school hours, I would have brought... marched him right to his mother's house, right to his parent's house or down to the school. So ask yourself that question, sir, why did you not do that with me?" It was a brilliant statement in the assumptions it implied.

The period covered by the report card only included two months while I was living at 4th Avenue. The police information showed that I left at the end of October 1980. In his direct examination Mr. North had claimed that our frequency of contact remained the same after I moved. He was insistent about this. He remembers the relationship as one long relationship, doesn't remember its near termination.

He had estimated that he visited me two to three times a week at 4th Avenue. I rephrased the question putting it to him that while at 4th Avenue I lived only a couple of blocks away from his home and he could drop by at will, whereas at Hawks I was two or three miles away, any visits would have to arranged by telephone, and I would usually have to pick him up and drop him off. He continued to maintain that the frequency remained the same. Initially I had the feeling his insistence on this was to back up his claim that I was to blame for his poor attendance. I asked him how he would arrange to visit me at Hawks Avenue. He merely repeated that the frequency remained the same. I asked him if he wouldn't have to telephone me. He didn't know how else but in one of his non sequiturs replied that, "I can remember your telephone number by heart right now". I assumed, perhaps erroneously, that the jury would see his flippant reply for what it was. I asked if wouldn't he agree that me driving over to pick him and driving back to drop him off later was a lot more trouble than him just pressing my apartment buzzer for me to let him in. With mocking sarcasm he replied, "Yes, I would and I'd just like to compliment you on that. I appreciate your trouble coming to get me. Thank you." I said "Pardon?" He continued, "I appreciated all your driving. You know, did you want some gas money?" I should perhaps have complained to the judge about the witness's flippancy. In any case I believe I should have made an issue of it but I doubt if Judge Edwards would have done anything, thus legitimizing Mr. North's testimony. Another tactic he used when I asked him a question was to say, with intimations of intimacy, that I should know "because you were there". I was unable to control the witness.

I then questioned Mr. North on the question of when he was at my place in order to show that the sex and posing that he claimed happened at 4th Avenue were highly unlikely. I asked if he was aware that I was employed full time at Columbia College. He said he didn't know my working hours. After evasive answers he agreed it was reasonable to assume that the working hours at the college were similar to school hours. I also asked him if he was aware that college instructors have to spend a lot of time on preparing lessons.

I questioned the witness about the incident when he and his friends called me a "Fucking faggot" from the lane beneath my windows. This was in an attempt to show that the relationship changed at this time. He didn't recall this but added, "I wouldn't put it past me at that day and age of doing that but I don't remember doing it specifically." He did admit that as a kid he "thought about homosexuals as pigs", but added that he's "not like that today", and has no problems with homosexuals. "What bothers me today is thoughts of men and boys having sex." I asked if as an adult, do you have difficulty remembering doing things as a child that your present person would disapprove of? He said it was an interesting question. He did not deny it which made it difficult to draw any inferences from his reply.

Because I would be taking the stand it was necessary for legal purposes to put my version of events to the witness. I had to go through my statement about the relationship, and ask the witness about every significant point in it. Of course he denied everything. I asked him if he recalled first meeting my son in the 7-Eleven below my apartment. Mr. North didn't. I asked if he had a conversation with my son where he mentioned that he collected empty bottles for the deposits. He didn't although he said he sometimes did but never at my apartment building. I asked him if he learned from my son that there was a party of sorts at my apartment, and that there could be some empties available. Again he denied that, insisting that we were alone the first time. I continued going through the events I gave in my statement of our relationship, his second and subsequent visits, and the times of day he would drop by.

There was a strange anomaly in Mr. North's answers about how he used to come over to my apartment: He said he buzzed the intercom at the rear of the building facing the lane, repeating what he'd said in his police interview and at the preliminary hearing. Given a series of photographs, he even pointed to the rear exit as where the intercom was located. I know of no apartment buildings where the intercom is at the rear rather than on the street. I was not allowed to ask the witness if he knew of any other apartment buildings with intercoms at the rear. It was a minor point in fact, but the tenacity with which the witness insisted on this suggested that he was capable of believing things which were patently untrue. Although he always entered at the front, it was by the rear that he would leave the building, as it was closer to his home and that of his best boyhood friend. The rear was where we had entered when I allegedly picked him up. He claimed that we entered this way multiple times.

I asked him if the relationship at 4th Avenue was not confined to him visiting me. Mr. North replied that I was insinuating that nothing else - presumably posing and sex - occurred. I was outraged at this - it did not relate to the question - and interjected. Mr. Poll interrupted to say I should let the witness finish his answer. Mr. North thanked the prosecutor and said, "I'd like to answer that because I feel threatened that he's challenging my character." I replied that I was. He went on to make a statement affirming his moral righteousness and casting aspersions at me. I told him his job was to answer questions and not make moral pronouncements.

His claims about sex and posing and me setting up a darkroom - all of which require being undisturbed for some time - were incompatible with the busy social scene at 4th Avenue. I asked him if he met many people at my place, and knowing what I was getting at he replied quite a few, which he qualified as less than many. To establish the social tone of my apartment I asked him if he met any of my gay friends and he mentioned two. He uses the opportunity to assume the moral high ground and mentions one of them as coming over with little boys of ten or eleven. The friend, an auto-body man, came over with some of his teenage friends who were into muscle cars, and who had their drivers' licenses and were hardly little boys, as claimed. Mr. North's mendacious posturing may however have been successful so far as the jury was concerned. I said the only little boys who came around were the friends he brought over.

As part of my attempts to refute his sex and posing allegations at 4th Avenue I questioned him about bringing his friends around to my place, the point being that if I were indeed having sex with him he would not want to bring his same-age friends over. I had social photography taken at 4th Avenue showing a total of five different friends of his friends roughhousing, sitting around the table, and mixing with my adult friends. He admitted that he brought Travis over and volunteers that we sat around a table hot-knifing hash ("... didn't we? Remember that?"). When I told him that I was not there to answer questions he continued, "Yeah, but you can help me with my memory. I mean you're the only other person that was there. So why don't you answer the question?" There were many similar examples. Mr. North was able to get himself into a righteous persona which would carry him through with fairly consistent answers. I was not able to deal with it and it was effective in sabotaging my cross-examination. I asked him about others and he said maybe Don, but definitely another friend of his. He said he remembered Travis because he knew how much I liked him. He claimed not to know some of his friends in my social photography and said they must be friends of mine. A very clever witness indeed.

This was a boy that Mr. North had earlier claimed that I had asked him to pimp before I ever met him. He said I was "frothing at the mouth". One time when I had first known him Layton asked me if I liked Travis; I had replied no, that I liked older boys. He confided to me that Travis, then twelve, had pubic hair. The police had interviewed Travis and tried to subpoena him for the trial but he deliberately avoided being called as a witness. I wish they had succeeded as this freed Mr. North to make outrageous claims. I showed him the photos and while he admitted that three of them were his friends, but then he claimed that he didn't know the two others, although he was sitting between them. By not recognizing his other friends he left the implication that they could be boys I had invited over. In fact there was never an occasion when any of his friends came over on their own.

I asked Mr. North if people often stayed at my place, a issue I raised partly in relation to my place being busy and his own claims about sleeping over with me in my bed. He started giving one of his evasive circumlocutory answers. I asked if he remembered me having guests. He only remembered three out-of- town friends staying over, and that occasionally there would be people there. I could not tie him down so I asked him about what he'd said at the preliminary hearing. Before I could finish my question, Mr. Poll demanded to know the page and line number and I read it out. I'm convinced that Mr. Poll was using this perfectly legal technique quite unnecessarily simply to harass me and rescue his star witness from awkward situations. At the preliminary hearing when asked about how busy my place was he had described it, "I would only consider people to be friends in the same age range.... There was so many people, it's just a blur, but yeah." At trial however he would not admit that I had an active social life because, as he explained, he didn't think it was a normal social life. He felt the people were not there on a normal social basis, and people couldn't be friends because of age differences. "I would only consider people to be friends in the same age range."

Soon after, the prosecutor and judge interrupted saying that this line of questioning is inadvisable. More evidence of gross indecency, I thought? It was all part of his attempts to portray me as a pervert. In view of this I asked him if he was ever approached sexually at my place. His clever reply - and Mr. North is an exceptionally intelligent person - was, "No, not that I recall. You protected me quite nicely, didn't you?" He mentions the "shocking and disturbing experiences" that he had with me at 4th Avenue. And he kept coming over?

Mr. North was trying to create the impression that the scene at my place was disturbing, abnormal and sexually charged. As it was clearly testimony directed towards the gross indecency - a community-standards offence - and suggested coaching, I wanted to refute this. I asked him if there were a lot of playful times and horseplay with him and his friends. Mr. Poll made an issue of what constituted horseplay. I showed him a series of pictures showing Layton wrestling with Wayne and fooling around and mugging the camera with his friends Travis and Don. I also showed him a mixture of his and my friends playing a dice game. I showed him a picture of Layton with a backgammon board looking very happy and ask him to describe it. He said he looked awfully young and says he didn't know what he was doing. I ask him about his expression. He couldn't remember. Mr. Poll interrupted to say that the picture could speak for itself.

Trying to counter the funless impression he was ascribing to our relationship I next showed him a picture of Layton looking amused and reclining propped up on an elbow wearing a small bra that had been left at my place. The top of his pants are clearly visible. Recall that? "No... It looks like me wearing a stuffed training bra, me pretending to be a girl, I suppose ... I look like a prepubescent girl... I don't remember this... I wouldn't be proud to show this to my friends." Can you describe your expression? "I look amused." He later said, "Mr. Sharpe, it does not look like me prancing around in a bra. It looks like I put the bra on at your behest." He had put it, put it on as a joke posing with an amused smile. He didn't remember the incident but he could not deny his amused expression. However a little while later Layton claimed that mention of it had brought back the memory; he insisted that the picture must show an intimate moment between us. "That was what I would call a traumatic experience... " It was now an "intimate moment" between us and that he had put on the bra at my behest. I couldn't believe his perfidy. Mr. North speaks of personal moments, cuddling and kissing, and abandons any macho stance. He clothes these accounts with expressions with expressions like, "Didn't we, Robin?" One would think it was a romantic relationship. The boy Layton can be stripped of any dignity in order to serve the righteous sensibilities of Mr. North. His improvisation was clever. I had great difficulty in admitting that anyone could be so completely without scruples.

Then Mr. Poll again said he was concerned about my line of questioning on the bra photograph because these may be activities that the jury would disapprove of - a clear inference that the picture is evidence of gross indecency. In his false concern for me the prosecutor was making the presumption that these were indeed indecent things, that the bra photo is not a joking matter, and that it indeed displays an 'intimate moment'. The jurors were invited to perceive the joking boy in a bra picture as at least marginal in terms of tolerance.

I had given up asking the judge for help having concluded he was a team judge. However the next day Judge Edwards warned Mr. North about answering questions with ones of his own adding that the witness should avoid trying to engage in a debate with me. Mr. North responds that it's natural to get into banter with Sharpe and thanks the judge for his guidance.

Mr. North denies meeting me when he came to my door collecting bottles and all the other details of our first meeting, which was the actual starting point of our relationship. His testimony was consistent and insistent on having posed and engaged in sex at 4th Avenue. I wanted to make this appear to be unlikely. I tried to elicit testimony from him that would indicate that his tale of posing at 4th Avenue was implausible, because of what would be required, for instance, in terms of privacy. With my work, busy social life and visitors, it would have been difficult to arrange to have him pose, and potentially very awkward to take over the bathroom for the hours it would take to develop and print the photos. I didn't have a suitable situation until 6th Avenue. I asked Mr. North if he came over whenever he chose. In a typically evasive answer and prejudicial manner he replied, "That doesn't draw a memory.... I don't remember how we got together; I just remember having this relationship with you." I asked if walking by and buzzing me was the way he came over. Mr. North said he didn't remember phoning first or anything like that, didn't recall boundaries restricting when he could go over. He said he "pretty much had freedom to come and go." I asked if I had any control over when he came over. Mr. North replied, "Not really, other than not letting me up when I buzzed." I asked him if we were ever interrupted when we were taking pictures. Mr. North replied: "No, during these episodes, it was always just you and me, Robin."

I asked Mr. North if he remembered a punk band coming over from Victoria, getting ready for gigs and partying. He remembered that I had financed a band but he didn't "remember parties as such - just gatherings and lots of smoke in the room." I asked if he met a number of my friends? "Yes." I asked if he liked my friends. "They all seemed like cordial people." I referred to his testimony at the preliminary hearing, "They're nice people... it was a safe environment." I asked if it was a safe environment for him. "Yes, I felt very safe at your place." Yet you claim I sexually assaulted you? "That was our relationship, Robin." I asked if anyone else came onto him. "You protected me quite well, didn't you, Robin?" I asked him if most of what he remembered happened at 4th Avenue. "That's my general impression... the most shocking experiences happened at 4th... these are the ones burned into my memory." And he felt secure?

I had to go through a series of questions, many of which he couldn't or wouldn't answer, in order to have his testimony on each point, I queried him on, on record. I asked him about guests. I mentioned other joking incidents and asked him if this kind of playing around was typical? I was surprised a bit by his reply, "Your place was safe, you were really nice to me, you weren't mean or violent... I didn't have to be there."

I showed him a picture of Layton smoking. He seemed to like it. "It's me blowing smoke through my nose." I asked if it could be blowing smoke rings, and Mr. North unsure and temporarily innocent replied, "Could be. I really liked doing that with you. I was really proud about being able to blow smoke rings."

After the jury left the room, the judge expressed concern about my line of questioning: Sharpe might be bringing out evidence of activities that the jury might disapprove of he said. The judge was warning me about the gross-indecency charge but perhaps more so of his own prudery. Don't be too honest or candid. Invitation to lie or suppress? I replied that I was just trying to show that it was a normal, healthy environment at my place. Mr. Poll cautions about the types of pictures that Mr. Sharpe is going to produce, a type of negative advertisement for my pictures. He is strongly implying how the jurors should regard the photos not as exhibits, but with the repugnance shared by the ever-moral Mr. North. Poll assumes that most jurors felt closer to his moral outlook than mine.

Letting children smoke cigarettes is a moral issue for many. I don't approve of it myself, but I wanted to avoid blame in his case. I knew what he said in his police interview and asked him when he started smoking cigarettes. "Seven years old." He'd replied. I asked if he smoked marijuana already when he'd met me. "I'd tried it and I'd smoked it... don't remember for sure when the first time was... started in Surrey when my brother put hashish in a pipe... I must have been about nine. I asked if his friends Travis and Don smoked marijuana. "Yes they did." I continued, asking if he ever smoked at Travis's house. "Yes." And did he smoke at Don's? "Not as much as at Travis's." Ever smoke with their parents? "I may have with Travis's mom... she didn't like us doing it... it may of happened." I asked if it is fair to say that smoking marijuana was common at your friends' places? "Only at Travis's and Don's." I asked him if the first time he was allowed to smoke pot at my place if he recalled us establishing that you already smoked marijuana and that you smoked with parents. He denied this.

Because of some ambiguity he had expressed about where I was living when we first met I asked him if Mr. North was certain I was living at 4th Avenue. "Yes." I referred to his police interview when he was asked where I lived and he replied, "I believe he lived at 4th and Yew at the time but that crosses in my mind with crossing over the viaduct." (This would be the route taken from Kitsilano to Hawks Avenue.) I then referred to the preliminary hearing, when he was asked when I moved to Hawks Avenue. "I don't remember, I'm almost positive he lived first at Yew and then over in Chinatown but you can't hold me to that." Were you at one time confused about when the first photos were taken? "Yes, it was unclear but now my memory is certain... We took pictures at both places and apparently all over BC, too." Is it true you were a bit uncertain of the order? "As my memory's become more certain, I'm fairly clear."

I asked Mr. North if ever stayed over at my place. "Yes." He remembered me caressing and cuddling him in bed. Do you remember refusing to call your mother? "In what respect?" Because I objected to you staying over and you wanted to. "I don't remember that." Isn't it true you refused to go home and threatened a tantrum if I didn't let you? "I don't remember but that sounds like something I'd do." Were you aware the manager lived next door? "No." Were you aware his 20-year-old son visited me? "No." Were you aware I had late-night visitors? "Maybe from time to time." Were you afraid that visitors would find you at night? "Not necessarily in that context. I didn't want anyone to know; I gathered you didn't either." Wasn't my place a kind of public place; wouldn't you have been afraid of discovery? "We didn't get discovered, did we?" The saucy answer seems to work for him.

I asked Mr. North if he told me that he was embarrassed because he didn't have money and friends had to treat him to video games. After he agreed I asked if he remembered turning on the tears and pleading for money. He said, "I wouldn't call it pleading but negotiating." When I asked if I gave him money so he wouldn't be embarrassed, he replied in his insinuating voice, "We all know why you gave me the money." I asked if he claimed that food was a major motivation for posing and for having sex? "Yes." How do you explain that? "I enjoyed being at your place, you ate normal food unlike my mother's. In order to be at your place I had to give you what you wanted - you used food as a commodity, I know that now." You said you were ashamed of not having enough food? "I didn't want my friends to know that." You told your teachers you weren't properly fed? "I don't recall this." Were you were afraid to tell your teachers? "Yes."

Do you remember me treating you differently with food from other guests? "No." I suggested that Mr. North was setting up a scenario where I used food to give me power over him. Mr. Poll objected to the question but Mr. North interrupted, "I'd like to answer that ... I just want to get out the facts ... you need to be stopped ... it's not right to have sex with boys." I'm sure that the police knowing that they had an eager complainant fed him all sorts of 'correct' answers and theories of how to answer my questions.

While the jury was out I asked the judge about Mr. North's rambling, evasive answers aimed at casting aspersions on me and making other allegations. I didn't get any satisfaction from the judge.

I asked if Mr. North agreed that my place on 4th Ave. was busy with lots of visitors. "It wasn't busy when we were engaged in our acts." Was it generally a hospitable environment? "For me, yes." For other people there? "Yes." He claimed we had a special secret relationship.

Mr. North had claimed in direct that he stayed over at Hawks Avenue and had baths and showers. "Baths, showers, you and me together." Where did these baths and showers occur? Was it in the lower level (where I lived). "I don't know about levels... I don't know where the bathroom was, I really remember the bathroom at 4th and Yew." At Hawks there was only a shared bathroom on the main level.

I wanted to establish that there was a gap in our relationship after I moved to Hawks Avenue to counter his insistence that nothing changed. Do you remember anything I was doing at Hawks that didn't involve you? "No." You don't remember me working on renovations or construction? "No." You don't remember any renovations going on at Hawks? "No." Could this be because you weren't around at Hawks for months on end? "I'm not sure if we had a break in our relationship ... I remember it ongoing as usual at Hawks ... my memory is we didn't have a falling out." You don't recall a period at Hawks for months when we didn't see each other? "That doesn't make sense to me." You don't recall being very unwelcome? "No."

I had decided to ask Mr. North about the nude pictures and have him examine them. On questioning he admits he looks happy in the nude photos. I asked if he was as happy when having sex. The morally reborn adult Mr. North relied, "I felt dirty and disgusting having sex. I closed my eyes and imagined you were a woman ... I was having sex with a man, it was the dirtiest thing I could do in my mind ... I was ashamed."

In his earlier testimony he had indicated that he posed many times, hundreds by some accounts. I began by asking him if he would agree that most of the pictures were taken as series - that is, several taken at the same location at the same time. He agreed that one set of 22 was a series. He was reluctant to agree that they were generally taken in series but then after looking at them some more he said, "We took them roll by roll, so I'd imagine that you took them in series." I then asked if he would agree the pictures here only represent twenty or fewer photo sessions. "I don't know if there's a hundred different photo sessions here?" He said, "You took way more than this - this is a joke." However he couldn't remember posing in most of the series present. In particular I asked him if he saw any of the series in an arbutus grove - the one series that he did remember doing. He didn't see any.

Still going through the requirement to place my version of events to the witness I asked if he remembered me showing him about 20 nude pictures of himself? (This was in reference to the first pictures that I developed and subsequently destroyed at his request.) "I don't remember you showing me any pictures, but you showed me how you developed them. (Untrue.) Do you remember examining these pictures and you selected some you didn't like and we destroyed them? "No." Do you remember deciding sometime later that you wanted all the pictures destroyed? "I do." Do you remember sitting at the kitchen table and the ritual of cutting up photos and negatives and putting them in a bowl and burning them? "No, I remember burning a negative but not batches of them." Does this give you an idea of what happened to the Arbutus grove pictures? "I don't know what you did with them, Robin." Do you recall coming up to me a couple of months later and asking if I wanted to take more nude pictures of you? "I might of because I wanted money." Do you remember me saying no? "We may of argued about that, I don't remember." Do you remember me saying, why would I want to take more pictures when you might later want them destroyed? "No." Do you recall swearing up and down that you wouldn't want them destroyed, but that now you wanted $20 a roll? He didn't recall. I asked, whether he thought posing nude is more dignified than having your pants pulled only partway down? "No." Did you think I only wanted pictures of your genitals? "I knew you wanted naked pictures." Do you think there might have been a misunderstanding that first time that you thought I only wanted pictures of your genitals, that you didn't know what kind of pictures I wanted?

I questioned him about his motivation in coming forward at the time when the media appeal was made. I wondered if the complainant was already known, identified, before media appeal was made. Initially I thought the appeal to come forward might be specifically directed to him, or indirectly through others known to him? Alternatively the media appeal may have been a setup to give Mr. North a pretext to respond - and incidentally a propaganda opportunity for the police to again place my name and alleged crimes before the public. He contacted the police one hour after the appeal was broadcast. Mr. North claims that he heard it on CBC Radio. The appeal also suggests that he was photographed in a forested area, possibly on Vancouver Island. While he was in some forest pictures I took in Victoria and on a camping trip to the Port Renfrew area, there were no nude ones. In the transcript he stated there was just the two of us - the photos however show four.

The media appeal states, "Recent information received regarding the boy indicates the following." It gives an accurate period, 1980-82, when the photos were taken. It then says the boy in question was living in the Middlegate area, presumably in the vicinity of a shopping mall at 7155 Kingsway in Burnaby. This can be traced to a mistaken statement given by Ray King. I met Ray King shortly after moving to Vancouver after having been given his name as likely marijuana connection. We became friends and King once visited me at 4th & Yew possibly meeting Layton. The release went on to say, correctly, that the boy was living with his mother and two younger siblings and that his mother may have been pregnant. This information could only come from Mr. North himself or someone who knew his family. This suggests that the police had already identified him before the media appeal was made. The most remarkable part of the media release is the claim that the subject believed that the photos were destroyed. How was this known if the subject had not already been contacted? The early photos were in fact destroyed. In combination with my name this suggests that I had deliberately misled Layton.

Had he heard an appeal? "The first time (when he called and left a message) I don't think I heard an appeal but I did the second time... the first time I was spurred on by what I heard on the news." "I didn't know what the police were going to do. I knew I could help them, I was the boy in the picture ... I hoped I wouldn't have to tell my wife ... I knew this could affect my family if I had to testify and I'd have to tell my wife." When I asked Mr. North why he didn't come forward earlier he replied, "I don't recall. One of my concerns was that I'd smoked pot or hash and that I could be prosecuted on that and I didn't want that to happen." I asked him if he thought that a man over 30 admitting to police he smoked pot as a teen could find himself facing criminal charges. "I wasn't sure, I was concerned." I find this phony. He said he looked me up on the internet and watched CPAC, a government television channel which aired the Supreme Court hearing on my case. Mr. North said he was at the time aware of the four- month conditional sentence I received on my earlier porn charges. I asked if he thought I got off too lightly. "Who am I to make that call? I'm not a judge... I don't have any malice towards the judge but a four month sentence seems light, yeah."

I again asked him why he waited twenty years. "I forgot all about you ... if you hadn't been in the news I wouldn't of come forward ... I'm man enough to come forward, OK, Robin? (Mr. North repeated this many times) ... the police needed help, I was the boy in the picture, I knew I could help." I asked if helping the police was part of his motivation. "How is helping the police not honourable at any time?... I came forward for many reasons ... this is one of the reasons but I fear you're never going to admit you need help."

I referred to his testimony at the preliminary hearing where Mr. North testified why he didn't come forward earlier. "I didn't want the hassle, didn't want to trouble Robin, didn't feel he was a threat to me or anyone else." I commented that at this point he seemed to think I was harmless. "You weren't a threat for violence is what I meant." How did you feel I was a threat? "You were a threat to children ... you remember how we met and how our relationship unfolded and the stories about Mexico and the Thai boy."

At the preliminary hearing Mr. North had said of my earlier porn case, and I quoted him, "I just couldn't believe he'd take this all the way to the Supreme Court. Why not just plead guilty and put it under him and let it go?" I asked if he was under the impression I took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. "Yes." After informing him that it was Crown appeals that took my case all the way to the Supreme Court, not me, I asked if he was bothered by the Supreme Court decision. "I was bothered by it." I asked if he were disappointed by my court decisions. "You got off scot free with a lot in life and I was disappointed in the courts, maybe they didn't have all the information, maybe I can help them with the information..." It seems clear from his desire to help the police and his opinion of the Supreme Court ruling that he had political reasons or rationalizations for coming forward. Mr. North added, "If you're innocent [sic] ... why can't you just accept you're guilty and try to correct that?"

There were some curious inconsistencies in Mr. North's testimony. He always tried to portray Layton as a moralistic kid who only engaged in posing and sex out of necessity. He had to because he needed food and money to survive, and he claimed that Layton was shocked and traumatized by many of the things he saw and experienced. In retrospect the willing cheerful boy becomes a frightened traumatized child. While denying that the bra incident was anything other than an intimate moment between us, he concocted or remembered other joking incidents. One was a tale he related in his police interview that as a joke Layton told his friends that he would get a cup of 'sperm' from me. They initially took him seriously, he claimed. I asked him if he would have done so if we were having sex with me. He didn't answer.

The Complainant's Motivation

It's an interesting question why years later some boys come forward and try to have men charged. It is interesting because the vast majority of those who have sexual relations with men do not. I am talking about situations where the men are unrelated and not in a position of authority. I would suspect that less than one percent do. Sociologist Paul Wilson in The Man They Called a Monster tells the story of an Australian who had sex with over 2000 boys, most of whom he picked up hitchhiking, none of whom reported him. He kept records of his encounters including the boys' penile measurements. Many men have reputedly had sex with hundreds of boys and never had any problems. I have met several personally, and while they believe that they could be charged they also believe it is unlikely. For the boys it is not a question of fear or that they don't think they will be believed, but that they do not see the sex as abusive, unwanted or a big deal,. They failed to see themselves as victims. The child advocates, the police, and psychocops see this lack of victimhood as a problem. In a duplicitous manner they speak of trauma, treatment, and the courage of survivors. The child-abuse industry requires fodder. They create their own universe, with its own science, theories and paradigms populated by demons, myths, superheroes, and villains led by the pedophile.

Why Layton North decided to come forward perplexed me. At first I thought maybe he was being leaned on. It is not uncommon for someone in trouble with the law to offer information to the police about others in the hope of getting favourable treatment. For anyone following the media, it would be a very reasonable assumption that the police were just chomping at the bit to get me. I had no idea what Layton's situation was. I was curious if he was facing charges or had a criminal record.

Another possibility was money. There had been a number of well-publicized instances where victims of sexual abuse received substantial sums. These were generally cases of institutional abuse occurring at Indian residential schools, orphanages, and training schools. Through a victim friend, who had been involved in a class-action settlement in eastern Canada, I had some idea of the procedures. There were also cases where victims received money from provincial victim-compensation boards, as happened in the Maple Leaf Gardens scandal. The B.C. Criminal Injury Compensation Program had made payments in the past, but I could not find any evidence of public compensation payouts being available in the province at the time Mr. North came forward. Cases where a victim sues his abuser I did not consider relevant because of my poverty. I did locate and contact the B.C. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse. Its assistance is limited to providing counseling and therapy and does not provide compensation for abuse. Mr. North had not claimed any significant harm as a result of his association with me and expressed a reluctance to undertake counseling at the preliminary hearing. He subsequently visited a therapist in order to prepare a victim-impact statement.

There are also private sources of money that could be used to encourage people to come forward with sex-abuse allegations. Through an article in the October, 2003 edition of Vancouver Magazine I became aware of a local Port Coquitlam businessman, Doug Stead. He is the founder of Tri-M Systems, Inc. a prosperous computer technology firm which works in the field of surveillance and security. He is a man of strong convictions, perhaps like myself, and he attracted a lot of public attention with his five-year legal battle challenging the constitutionality of the use of photo radar in speeding charges. He also ran as an independent candidate in the 2001 provincial election as part of a campaign to repeal a law limiting the power to the police. Mr. Stead became a child- abuse activist after a six-year-old niece was molested by a family doctor. The doctor was disciplined by the B.C. College of Physicians but died before any criminal charges were laid. Stead accused higher-ups in the then-NDP provincial government of a cover-up. As a result in 1999 he set up an organization, EAP, Entrepreneurs Against Pedophiles, which on their website offered a $10,000 reward for evidence against any person in a position of trust who is found abusing children. I found specifying "a position of trust" here very interesting. Stead is also a founding member and director of ACPO, the American based Anti Child Pornography Organization, and has given speeches and published his views on the subject.

I have no way of knowing if EAP offered or gave money to Mr. North. However given Mr. Stead's and Detective Waters's high profiles and their mutual interest in child pornography I believe that it is almost certain that they were in contact with each other and discussed the question of the $10,000 reward. This could explain Detective Waters's role in setting up the Media Release and why the complainant, Mr. North, was put through to her before he was directed to the Sex Offence Squad, to whom supposedly he first told his story. After my acquittal on the writing and the 'slap on the wrist' for the photos, she may have felt justified in advising Mr. North to polish his tale. This must remain speculation but the obvious zeal of both lends it some credence, and Mr. North was very willing to go along.

Even when I read the transcript of the police interview (where he laid out in considerable detail the story of how I, a likely gay man, had picked him up hitchhiking and took him home for nude posing, and not long after, sex) I still thought he might be acting under pressure. In his police interview it seemed as if he was only saying what was necessary to back up the charges. In his police interview he did not appear to be malicious and he said a number of positive things about me. At this point he may have been relying more on his memory than later, when feeling more confident, he turned his imagination loose. Any doubts I might have had about Layton's eagerness to get me evaporated at the preliminary hearing in June, 2003. His testimony became increasingly outrageous and nasty, but he was still somewhat confused about his motivation.

It was always clear to me that Layton was a highly intelligent person. I think you could see that at the trial. He certain thinks of himself as gifted and boasts about his ability at chess. In his police interview and at the prelim he suggested that I was responsible for him missing school and not doing well. He was with me instead. However he quit school after he knew me. His frequent moves, his home situation, and I suspect his short attention span explain him leaving school. Repeatedly in his testimony he says that I would explain things in "excruciating detail" or "ad nauseam". This is, I'm sure, how he felt. He was impatient. Today he would be labeled as having ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. I think this is why he dropped out of school and failed to develop his potential. He was very intelligent but not in any way an intellectually inclined boy.

I feel I have some personal understanding of what attention deficit disorder is. My memories of classes in school are dominated by boredom, of daydreaming, of looking out windows, of that particular blue-tinged space where the mind goes into a trance or perhaps meditative state. Later in classes I developed a habit of doodling on my note pages, drawing patterns and cartoon faces. Like young Layton I felt that teachers went on and on when I thought I had already grasped the point, or enough for what I wanted or was interested in. Classes were not interesting. Even today in a classroom like situation, my mind wanders, I doodle, I get into that blue-tinged space.

I do not know about his claim of worrying about if he was gay. He did get married fairly young, and at 35, had a 13-year-old son and two younger daughters. His work record was very stable. I think that he had said he had been in the courier business for 14 years, almost entirely with same firm. He claimed that he had a good job and made good money. He came across as a dedicated employee. I felt that he may feel that the job was beneath his abilities, but when I probed this point he emphasized his responsibilities. A dead-end job? Anyway, the point is that there may not be much satisfaction or opportunities for ambition in his life. I don't really know, I'm speculating.

This may be is where I came in. It fits with his earlier statements and testimony, where he places his coming forward in terms of helping the police, together with other altruistic reasons. Earlier he made it clear that he felt no maliciousness, made no mention of harm to himself. The victim-impact statement was a later addition. His expressed attitude towards me changed: , at one point I was harmless, and at the end he wanted to protect Third World children from me. The evolution of his statements suggests that he was refining his case. Getting me - particularly after the police had failed, the courts had failed, and after all the fuss I had caused, and I almost got off scot-free - was too much of a temptation.

What did Mr. North get out of the whole affair? He got a lot of attention, meeting detectives and other important people. Child-abuse activists, such as Rosiland Prober and others, sought him out and no doubt pandered to him. MP Chuck Cadman took an interest in him and attended court on the days when he testified. Mr. North had a starring role at the trial and he played it very well. Personally and perhaps socially his coming forward and testifying was a big deal for him. Did he benefit financially? Given the connection between Detective Waters and Jim Stead, I am fairly sure he got money. Knowing the complainant he may have tried to negotiate for more. I don't know how one could find out if he got $10,000 from EAP.

I could see that his vanity and his intelligence - his perhaps underappreciated intelligence - combined with his modest, dead-end middle-class existence, could partly explain his coming forward. He testified that he had followed my pornography trial fairly closely, although he made efforts to minimize his interest. He watches the Canadian Public Affairs Channel, CPAC which among other things broadcasts unedited Supreme Court hearings. He said he tried to come forward months before my trial, in early 2002, but the police never called him back. He mistakenly claimed that at the time he was answering an appeal for the boy in the photos to come forward. This is highly unlikely, as the police still had hopes of me being convicted for my written material and there had been no mention of any particular boy in the media. If he contacted the police it may be that they simply may not have bothered as they were not looking for anyone. Layton said he was disappointed and wondered why they weren't interested in someone who had information on John Robin Sharpe. It's interesting that he would volunteer in this way, and felt as he did, perhaps rejected.

After my acquittal on my stories, the police immediately set to work. Detective Noreen Waters, who may have heard about a call from someone saying that they had been photographed by Sharpe, organized a media appeal for the boy to come forward. Layton said he replied within an hour after hearing it on CBC Radio.

While his stated reasons for coming forward were many, mixed, and confused there can be no question about the strength of his motivation. In his police interview and at the prelim he was quite sure that there were two media appeals, the first one several months before my pornography trial. There was of course no appeal for anyone to come forward before the trial. He volunteered on his own. In his police interview he says the first time he tried to contact the police, "And about eight months ago... I was wondering why they were not looking for people (incidentally denying that he heard any media appeal for people to come forward), you know, that... in all this. About six, eight months ago I phoned and I thought.... I thought maybe you guys might want some information. I thought the police, you guys, you know. I thought... I thought I'd phone."... "I left a message saying I have some information for you that's very pertinent to the John Robin Sharpe file. I can help you with the Robin Sharpe investigation". Also, "I thought the police, you guys, you know. I thought... I thought I'd 'phone." He was very disappointed that they didn't call him back, (33-34) "... they didn't want my help or anything... they didn't believe me, maybe." Referring to these early attempts to contact the police about me he said, "every time I called I asked for the person handling the Robin Sharpe investigation." If he made several calls this suggests that he was very anxious to make allegations against me. The fact that he avoided discussing it with his wife, although it was bound to affect the family, also supports the contention that he was strongly motivated.

Mr. North made several references to publicity as reasons for coming forward. He refers to the "landmark Supreme Court decision". He says, "just seeing him in the media" brought back memories. At one point he simply states, "But the reason I came forward is because I heard Robin a couple of years ago, his name was mentioned in a news report." Finally when the media appeal was put out he said, "I heard a report on CBC Radio that the police were looking for the man... or the boy that was in those pictures that they'd seized in his apartment and they were putting a plea out. And that was it, I phoned then. And that's why I came forward,..." Subsequently he was to say, "I really don't know what the motivation was."

Mr. North gives some altruistic reasons for coming forward. "He needs help. He feels he's normal, but he needs help.... and I would like to see him get help." And after 20 odd years, "I'm concerned that it may happen again." "Can I help another kid not get hurt. Can I... can I stop something here? Can I... can I do something valuable? Is this really worthwhile?" But later saying at the prelim, "I didn't feel he was a threat to anybody." And he saw in coming forward, "I thought, you know, there's a greater good here and I could possibly do something good for society. The cause was legitimate, in my mind. I thought the positives outweighed the negatives..." And "This has a higher purpose." And also, "... like I would ask myself, what would be the real reason. And the reason is because I have kids." For good measure he says, "I had to prove I was a man, I wasn't gay." But he also correctly says, "... it doesn't matter if I'm gay or not."

For a long time I tried to figure out how Mr. North justified to himself his lies and what he was doing. Was it simply because we had had sex when he was a boy and that this to him as an adult now was so egregious that whatever he could do to get me punished was justified? Or was his thinking somewhat more legalistic and he believed that he must have been under the age of consent at the time I first gave him a blow-job and therefore I should be charged? In either case he felt justified in constructing a false history to make it clear that he was underage at the time of first sex. However neither of these bases is sufficient to explain the lurid inventions and scenes with pornographic details that he concocted and the indulgently malicious way he presented them at trial. Considering other evidence - such as his indifference to his wife and family and the cruel way he exploited his mother - after rereading the transcripts of his testimony with its elaborate fabrications, rich recall of detail and fictitious conversations, I am ready to believe that he is psychopathic. This in itself could provide the reason. He appears without empathy and nothing I remember him doing as a boy contradicts this.

"And then when the police... they wanted help. They needed help. They wanted help. I just thought, yeah, okay, I can... I'll just see what the police have to say. See how I can help..." Mr. North's repeated desire to help the police can, I believe, be taken at face value. It shows a deferential attitude towards the police suggestive of an authoritarian personality. His respect for authority is complemented by his exercise of authority over his family he described at the preliminary hearing. In retrospect he may see my permissive attitudes as a weakness justifying his attack on me.

9Mr. North is quite contradictory about me. In his earlier statements he says he didn't feel threatened by me or that I was a threat to anybody. When asked why he hadn't come forward earlier he said such things as: "had no reason", "didn't want the hassle", "didn't want to trouble Robin", and "didn't feel any great need at the time". At his police interview he even rambled on about his indecision in coming forward, "Robin always... he... never forceful, never mean. Like I... I can say ... you know, he may be a pervert, but the thing I'd like to say about Robin he's ... he wasn't a mean person, he never forced me to do anything. And I wasn't sure if I should even come forward and tell you this because I was the one that was getting the money for this." By the time of the trial, especially after he had been briefed by Rosalind Prober of Beyond Borders, he was on a crusade to save children from my depredations. He still is an imaginative kid.

10The reasons he came forward, I believe, had very little to do with me and a great deal to do with the complainant's current psychological state. As Mr. North became more conservative, the need to exorcize his past increased. As an adult, a socially conservative adult, Mr. North feels a deep shame about the things he did with me as a boy. He now wishes they had never happened, and were not a part of his life. He rejects his early life. He is ashamed of his childhood poverty. He will not take his children to visit their grandmother. He does not talk to his siblings about their childhood. He now lives a very righteous life, and to some extent he may feel that this gives him a right to reinvent, or more accurately reinterpret, his personal history. By coming forward he sought to purge himself of responsibility for his past. He can claim that he was a victim, at least of me. Coming forward for him is like a self-exorcism. An exorcism not in religious terms (Mr. North is a professed atheist) but in a secular, politically-correct, victimological sense.

Coming forward has provided important psychological benefits to Mr. North. He has done something, he has made a move. He has gained attention, he is listened to by the police and wanted in court where he is helping the police set things right. He is the one who finally nails Robin Sharpe. A lot of people will applaud that. It has also been exciting for him and gave him an opportunity to be creative and show what he can do. He may even see it as opening up new opportunities

My thoughts on what happened became less benign over time. Initially I speculated that as soon as Mr. North contacted the police he was put through to detective Waters. He told Waters about being the boy in the photos. Despite his denials, the subject of sex abuse almost certainly came up. She very likely questioned Mr. North and he may have been as truthful as he could remember and told a story which would not basically conflict with my statement about our relationship. Waters believed him and expressed her support and sympathy. She may have mentioned or explained that his story was vague and needed to be tightened up to make a firm case. Mr. North, confident that he had indeed been abused under the law, saw her point. Or being an intelligent fellow he may have realized this on his own or thought the whole thing out before he ever talked to the police. I'm sure Mr. North himself thought up the hitchhiking angle. It was an inspired choice: It packaged the story neatly and gave it form. It was not so much a lie as a means of establishing the truth clearly. He knew the car and could draw upon the experience of actually having once been picked up while hitchhiking.

The food angle was not really a lie either, because he was skinny and didn't eat much anyway. The police probably encouraged him to develop the sex-for-food rationale. It made his tale more plausible and it gave him a respectable motive for posing and sex. The poor child was hungry. It only made the fundamental truth of his abuse clearer and more credible. How else could a fearful boy, who was "as yellow as they come" , and who claimed a special fear of men following him in cars, hop into a car with a strange and eccentric middle-aged man, and minutes later agree to pose for nude photos. In his mind the hitchhiking tale and his desperation for food changed nothing substantially. Mr. North may have simply thought that Waters was helping him. His story had basically come into shape by the time he talked to the investigating detectives.

Nevertheless some months later I still found it difficult to explain Mr. North's reasons for coming forward. (I knew nothing of any money he might receive for my conviction.) The fact he did come forward would suggest to most people that he was being truthful and making a sacrifice by doing so. It is very difficult to counter the weight of this common-sense generalization. I think that despite the clever lies and elaborate fabrications, Mr. North believes that he was criminally sexually abused, that we engaged in sex before his fourteenth birthday. For an authoritarian person, this legality might have been sufficient. This does not explain the effort and risks he undertook by coming forward. I believe that he is very dissatisfied with his life, despite his claims to a happy family life. At the preliminary hearing he admitted to having problems with his relationships with his wife and children. Perhaps he feels inadequate as a parent and compensates by being overprotective. Who knows, he might even have had impotency problems with his wife. Perhaps exorcising me would help. His life may not be the rosy picture he claims.

Mr. North is a very intelligent person and well aware of it. He may feel that his job, which sounds dead-end, is beneath his capabilities. It may not provide him with as much income or challenge as he would like. He feels he could have made more of his life if he'd had a better childhood and education. Maybe he could have been a lawyer, or a police officer.

Mr. North got interested in my case - intensely interested although he may not have followed all its details. He accepted the media's general line - which was highly unsympathetic to me. As a computer literate person he probably explored the generally hostile websites dealing pedophilia such as Doug Stead's. They universally condemn child sex abuse and pornography and offer popular theories on the subjects where everything is explained in terms of the offender/victim paradigm. Probably starting at about the time of the SCC decision Mr. North began following my case closely - more closely than he seems ready to admit. Under questioning he attempted to minimize his interest although he admitted looking up the Reasons for Judgment and mentioned watching the Supreme Court proceedings on CPAC. He probably accepted the line prominent in the conservative media that the decision with its two petty exceptions was a victory for me. He was put off by this and resented it. I didn't deserve it.

Part of his authoritarianism is respect for and faith in, and even envy of the police. He may know and work with some cops through his job. He is rather uncritically predisposed to help the police. When the decision in my actual trial came down, he was angry, maybe outraged, that I had gotten off so easy. When the media appeal was broadcast and the police wanted help he didn't have to think about what to do. It may have been the type of thing he was hoping for. He may have felt that he was only person who could do something about the notorious Robin Sharpe who had gotten off almost scot-free in his eyes. It was up to him to do something about it. It has an heroic aspect.

He was oblivious to the possible consequences for himself and his family simply not bothering to inform them. This may also reflect his authoritarian outlook as the one who wears the pants in the family. His authoritarianism and desire to be in control may be why he rejected the idea of therapy, which involves relinquishing control and entertaining doubts that could threaten his ego.

He knew that for a person under 14 that there was no issue of consent; it was sexual assault no matter what the circumstances. He didn't have to portray Robin as a monster; he could simply describe him, his manners and attitudes as he remembered them. It would even help to make his story more believable. He could remember a number of details, fragments of actual conversations and incidents accurately, which would make his story more believable and convincing. Little lies and distortions which make his fabrications more truthful sounding. He invented the hitchhiking scenario, which tied in with the predatory pedo theories he'd encountered. His boyhood friends could establish that he knew Robin at the time claimed. This was the only corroboration he initially thought of.

His testimony deals overwhelmingly with what happened at 4th and Yew. He did spend more time there than all the subsequent places put together. In addition his times there may have been discussed with his friends, which tends to firm up memories. At the other places, with the exception of a few times at Hawks Avenue, none of his friends were around. Nevertheless it is surprising, perhaps curious, how little he seems to remember about other places I lived. He makes no mention of West 6th Avenue, which he spent more time at than any place other than 4th and Yew. It was also where posing resumed and the first sex occurred.

He may see a bit of civic glory in helping bring Robin Sharpe to the justice he believes he deserves. There may not have been any personal malice in this when he began.

I can only speculate, but the facts that are known suggest that EAP had a big role to play in Mr. North's decision to come forward. The standing offer of $10,000 was in the media and easily found on the internet. Mr. North lets it be known that he's computer literate. It is not unreasonable to assume that he may have gotten in touch with EAP. If he did it would be quite reasonable to consider that Doug Stead contacted fellow anti-child-porn crusader Detective Noreen Waters. This would be a big break for the police. Noreen was desperate to make up for her loss when I was acquitted on my Boyabuse stories. Or one might even say revenge. It would of course look better in the complainant didn't appear to be cashing in on a reward. His coming forward as a victim put a righteous cloak on telling tales, and responding to a media appeal advertising Mr. Sharpe's notoriety would provide a magnificent cover. I can see Mr. North being aware of his value to Doug and Noreen, and perhaps shrewdly negotiating a better deal. It is also possible that Mr. North, unaware of EAP's offer, wanted to come forward for strictly for his own reasons, which is what I initially figured. The $10,000 or so would have been an unexpected bonus.

Another possibility I've entertained since the beginning is that Mr. North was earlier identified as the boy in the photos, and that initially he was being leaned on. In his first interview he only makes minimal allegations, sufficient to charge me with sex assault, while he says a lot of nice things about me, almost as if in apology for, or to mitigate the allegations. At this time he was probably, in this suggested scenario, still a bit unsure. He had gained confidence by the preliminary hearing, and at the trial he was bordering on cocky.


My first big mistake was selecting trial by jury. This was partly through sheer overconfidence. I was so sure that I would win mainly because of the flaws in the complainant's allegations that I figured a jury acquittal would be more convincing than one by a judge alone. What success I had had previously was often attributed to the biases and "judicial activism" of the judges. Even Beverly McLachlin was absurdly accused of being some kind of libertarian by the National Post, amongst others. I also saw a jury as some sort of insurance against a law-and-order type judge who saw himself as a member of the team. It was a simplistic and romantic concept of the jury, perhaps more based on the 19th-century English juries who, despite incriminating facts, often acquitted because of the draconian penalties applied rather than the more appropriate parallel of 19th-century and later Southern American juries' contempt for evidence when it came to the honour of a white woman against the life of a 'nigger'. I think the Greek word 'hubris' applies. And when I first elected trial by jury I knew I could always change to trial by judge alone at the preliminary hearing. People had warned me about how hysterical the public was when the question of child sex abuse arose but I felt people were not all that taken by the rants of activists and the hype of the police and the media. Jim Heller did not really argue with my choice; it suited his style of lawyering.

People who are usually fairly open and tolerant may become much narrower in the context of being jurors where they are asked to rule on the limits of acceptable behaviour, particularly where the defendant is identified as a pedophile. Indeed people may feel obligated to be more moralistic as jurors than they are in real life. As all of us find in many spheres of life, orthodoxy is always more easy to articulate than one's own perhaps murky and ambivalent feelings.

My second big mistake was retaining Jim Heller, and it's likely I wouldn't have if he hadn't suggested it. I had known him for five years and had a warm spot for him from his having given me some helpful advice when I first cross-examined witnesses at the preliminary hearing on my porn charges. After the new charges were laid I was disappointed and depressed. I had been anxious to leave the West Coast and had already invested about $3000 in moving to Montreal with a friend. I didn't feel like getting involved in another legal hassle and having a lawyer who was personally sympathetic was comforting. I never did really look for a lawyer as I did when I was arrested on my earlier charges. I had watched Heller work in a couple of dull murder trials with juries. He appeared competent to me. I was a bit more reassured when he told me he'd done a sex- assault case previously, though he'd given me no details. Some time later the defendant, who had been convicted, contacted me and told me how Heller had botched his case. I had studied my case thoroughly and felt that any reservations I had about Heller would be overcome by my familiarity with much of the evidence and details. His heart was in the right place and he also knew two potential defence witnesses (including my estranged son, whom he'd once represented and claimed a good rapport with). The other potential witness, a friend who knew him from a custody dispute, had a low opinion of Heller, saying he was unprepared and made mistakes. In retrospect I should have taken my friend very seriously.

I continued to retain him after the preliminary hearing, where I didn't think his cross-examination of the complainant was very effective, although he did probe some new areas. Jim was very sensitive and defensive about some mild criticisms I made and I humoured him. I didn't feel trapped but I couldn't think of who else to get. It was unsettling to think about and I didn't have the will I'd had a few years earlier. I continued to work on the case preparing voluminous notes and possible questions and approaches, and kept in mind the unwanted possibility of representing myself. I was not aware of to what extent questions could be foiled by smart witnesses.

Even when I finally discharged Jim in the middle of a cross-examination I should have asked for a delay to get new counsel. If granted it could have taken months for a new lawyer to prepare my case and I could see it going over into 2005. After nine years of uncertainty, of not being able to rebuild my life, my patience was exhausted. , I didn't want to wait another month.

I made many more mistakes but these two were the ones I believe that led me to defeat.

Friends have told me that I should have subpoenaed witnesses, including my son, despite their understandable reluctance to be seen testifying at my trial. They may be right, but at the beginning of the trial I thought the Crown's case was so weak that it would not be necessary.

Mr. Poll's Summary

In his summation Mr. Poll seemed ready to concede that Mr. North was somewhat confused about the hitchhiking incident. It wasn't necessary to believe the hitchhiking tale to convict me. His confusion and contradictions, which demonstrate a possible lack of reliability in his recollection, should not be used to cast doubt on the essential credibility of Mr. North's account. It was an appeal to gut instinct and moral rectitude.

Poll begins by listing the charges: gross indecency, indecent assault, and sexual assault. After explaining some legal points to the jury he advises them to consider my attitude and demeanor, and asks if I was belligerent, inappropriate, and evasive. I suppose it was a kind of name-calling and shows his insinuating approach. He repeatedly takes trivial and irrelevant points and blows them up to major proportions. My objections became labeled as inappropriate speeches. Poll uses his personal moral high-ground approach as a legal argument. I gave Layton pocket money mostly for video games so he wouldn't be embarrassed in front of his friends. In a strange twist, Poll insinuates that because Layton enjoyed posing as I had said, I must therefore have paid him for other reasons, completely denying Layton any ability to negotiate. He emphasized that I did not destroy the pictures when the child-pornography laws were enacted, and when I defended not destroying personal photos he claimed I became quite agitated. Pity more people didn't.

My mention of wanting to chronicle Layton's development was twisted into me claiming I didn't want to see Layton naked. I had said one of my photos was inspired by one of Edward Weston artistic and still readily available photographs of his young son, Neil. He implied that I claimed all my photos were so inspired. Poll used my comparison to Weston to imply that I wanted to exhibit the pictures, and then condemned my ethics for planning to do so. Yet at no point had I mentioned exhibiting the photos - such would have been risky even in the more liberal 1980s. Poll's claim may, however, have seemed plausible to the jury.

Inconsistently I thought, he kept claiming that I was acting like a man who feared getting caught as when he brought up my mention of concern for Layton's privacy. He declared that if I was concerned about Layton's privacy I should have destroyed the photos. Yet this privacy was not invaded until the police seized the photos. Mr. Poll, like Mr. North, was always concerned about being on the side of the law-abiding righteous. He became indignant when he told the jury that I couldn't resist engaging in debate and gave as an example my arguments about selling "the brown station wagon". It seems he was telling the jury to ignore my arguments based on the evidence of the timelines derived from the provincial Motor Vehicle Branch records as being unable to resist engaging in debate.

Poll kept returning to the fact that I denied having sex with the complainant at my police interview and later admitted that I did in testimony. I made my whole statement about my relationship with Layton, including the sex, available to the court and jury early on. "He has contradicted himself," the prosecutor claimed triumphantly. "He lied to police to avoid going to jail," which implied I was coward and knew I was guilty. Mr. Poll wanted to keep me in custody until my trial and fought to have me denied bail on grounds that I was a danger to children. He knew it would make preparing a defence difficult and could have decided the case in his favour. "He in effect misled the police and in turn misled the court." This is typical of the ways he stretched things. "To be clear, he could of said nothing, he was in his rights not to say anything or terminate the interview. He mislead the police because it suited his purposes." Being able to concentrate on preparing a defence could of course be seen as suiting my purpose, and for that matter the interests of justice, but Poll insinuated that there was something sinister about it. Perhaps imitating Mr. North's style, Mr. Poll became animated, referring to my lie: "He said he wasn't under oath at the time, it has the ring of a child, nah, nah, nah, you didn't catch me." (How like Mr. North.) And Poll had accused me of having a cavalier attitude. Aside from proffering the jury legal professional advice at the beginning Mr. Poll's summation focused on attacking me in a personal, character demeaning way. His was a predatory approach.

Among the personal letters seized was one I had written to Dr. Edward Brongersma, a good friend and well-known author on boylove I had complete trust in Brongersma and confided an account of my relationship with Layton, referring to him as Peter. Peter was also the name of the main protagonist in my 1986 first-person narrative novel Peter's Path, whose character was loosely based on Layton. Poll leapt on my use of a pseudonym claiming, "Even when communicating with a friend he was cautious about identifying (the complainant) to avoid getting caught." Mr. Poll does not explain how this could be the case. I had no fear of getting caught or I wouldn't have written what I did. At the time I wrote the letter the child pornography laws had not been enacted, and the subsequent seizure was only made possible by the unprecedented extension of state power that those laws mandated. There was no public debate about this at the time. I was the first to raise it. The name I used for the complainant was irrelevant, but the prosecutor used it to claim that the jury should keep in mind whether I "was telling the truth in the letter. Even when he communicates with friends he misleads." Poll repeatedly twists things in his theatrical, superior manner, which may have been convincing in itself. From the narrative in the letters Poll concocts a timeline of events to suggest that sex happened before "Peter's" (Layton's) fourteenth birthday. The letter is ambiguous and I offered an alternative timeline to suggest otherwise, and showed how the order of events supported my story. As with other things, Mr. Poll claims discrepancies where none exist. And as with other new points, I would not get a chance to rebut because by representing myself I lost the privilege of speaking last.

Poll claimed that there was a factual basis to my semi-poem, Suck It (He Demands): A Devotee's Lament in which conventional man-boy roles are reversed with the boy dominating the man and bossing him around. The character of the boy was in part based on Layton and it borrows some of his attitudes. Layton could be quite demanding while he was being fellated. I had written in part: "there is that strange first time when you were a twinkly twelve, we were playing backgammon ... worked you down from $100 to $20 and you said only this one time." Poll was not about to grant any literary license. He saw sinister fact. "Why not use an alliteration like 'frisky fourteen' instead of 'twinkly twelve'?" He said I was referring to Layton North as a child I was having sex with, meaning the sex began at twelve not fourteen.

He claimed that in important respects what I said in prior statements contradicts what I said under oath. Once again he brings up my necessary lie in the police interview, which was the only instance, but he hammers it again and again. He then gets into his crucial legal distinction regarding Mr. North's testimony and his tale of meeting me hitchhiking: "Do you accept Mr. North's account of dates, and accept the reliability as distinct from the credibility of his memory?" He mentions my claim that Mr. North had fabricated some of his accusations and has been coached by outside sources. He points out that Mr. North denies this. "The crown position is that no fabrication occurred and there is no evidence that the complainant has been influenced by outside sources... Any issues with his memory, is an issue of reliability and not credibility." He concedes some irrelevant points to appear generous and fair. "We know he was buzzed in through the front door and not the back door." Speaking rhetorically he adds, "Ask yourself what is more important, that he remembers what door he was buzzed in through or of Sharpe taking out his teeth and performing oral sex?"

The point however was not which door he used but the tenacity with which he held on to the false belief, a point which Poll effectively sloughed off. He goes on to concede, "It's likely he never rode in a station wagon with wood paneling." But this is also an irrelevant point. When Mr. North had to concede the obvious however reluctantly, Mr. Poll makes it out as a virtue that he did not become belligerent. I had used car registration information to show that the complainant's claim that I picked him up in 1979, or indeed the following May, was false. In his summary Mr. Poll tries obscure the point by saying that because Mr. North remembers two of my cars I questioned him about, and that that showed that I was in agreement with him. This was a deliberate attempt to obscure and confuse the jury on the all-important question of when sex occurred. In his summary Mr. Poll insisted that the testimony of his mother confirmed Mr. North's account - an incredible distortion giving the conflicting testimony from mother and son about Layton's home life. The only agreement, it seemed was on the dates of a few family photos entered as evidence. As regards Mr. North's main point that his mother failed to provide for him, driving him into my clutches, she refuted her son's claim of gross neglect.

11The prosecutor said I never challenged Mr. North's claim that specific nude pictures were taken at 4th Avenue. Technically this is true but another of his phony arguments, as I had testified that I began taking nude pictures at Hawks Avenue, after I left 4th Avenue. On one photo of Layton posing with a coy smile I had penciled as a joke the caption, You're exploiting my beautiful body. The prosecutor said why write that down if it's not true. Mr. Poll was humourless except in the way that joke-telling and sarcastic cops are funny. He asserted that the photos are evidence of sexual attraction and evidence that I acted on it

Poll argues that the hitchhiking episode is not the foundation of the case. In what I thought a strange abuse of logic he says, "If you think it happened the way Mr. North said it did then you can make conclusions about Sharpe's credibility." He then goes on to state, "If you think it happened the way Sharpe says it did then the complainant's memory is an issue of reliability." Either I am a liar or Mr. North's memory is flawed. He adds that jurors might conclude that they don't know what happened.

Gross Indecency

Mr. Poll emphasized the charge of Gross Indecency. He said the crown must prove three things for Gross Indecency: That the act happened from 1979 to 1983, they were not married and one of them was under 21. He may have thought that the assault charges might fail and that gross indecency could be a backup charge, even though it is a lesser offence, with a maximum 3-year sentence as opposed to ten for the others. He may have figured that if I couldn't be convicted of indecent assault or sexual assault, I could still be convicted of the same acts, ones that I admitted at the outset, without having to worry about timing of events, as the gross-indecency law has an age of consent of 21. The high age was probably to protect 'youth' from exposure to indecency. It is an archaic law that was repealed in 1987 and not replaced. In its day it was used to persecute sexual minorities, particularly gay people where sodomy could not be proven. It is a very flexible law, a sort of catch-all, and can be applied to acts and situations from the1950s to 1987 that are not covered by current laws. This is what the Crown was doing in my case. In some ways gross indecency is similar to the old laws that criminalized homosexual acts and that were repealed in 1969. But the difference is that after they were repealed they were not applied to acts that occurred before they were repealed. Perhaps theoretically they still could be if it were proven that two men, or two women, had sex with each other before 1969 when the law was repealed, but this never happens. I think there would be widespread outrage if the Crown tried to do so. Gross indecency can be whatever offends you in some sexual/moral sense. Gross-indecency charges are an invitation for a jury to be righteousness.

Mr. Poll was using the gross indecency charge creatively. He was using it to cover the same acts I am charged with under the other two counts. He said he wasn't using it to cover other allegations made by the complainant. He says that it covers the sexualized circumstances of my residences and relationship with Layton. He used his prestige as an official of the court to imply that his views were normal. His concern about the morality of 'crossing swords' and marijuana had already been put to the jury. The posing would be part of it, but not specifically like so many other things. In effect he was saying that if you cannot convict the defendant of illegal acts then you can convict him on his lifestyle at the time.

Gross indecency does not specifically apply to any particular act, but it can include many things not covered under other laws. Mr. Poll told the jury:

"You must apply the standards of ordinary Canadians during the period in question" and granted, There has been no evidence about what standards applied." (I mentioned earlier that in this case the jury was asked to decide what ordinary Canadians over twenty years earlier, when many of the jurors would have been young children, would find grossly indecent. Poll invited the jury to:

consider a 46-year-old man and an eleven-year-old boy. There's no question about the ages, no question that the accused allowed an 11-year-old to smoke pot and drink beer - , that in itself is not grossly indecent but keep it in mind. A 46-year-old man took naked photographs. The pictures are not grossly indecent but they give you a sense of the relationship. There is no dispute about oral sex on the complainant and that he performed oral sex at least once on Mr. Sharpe, and there was mutual masturbation. The defendant knew about and took advantage of the complainant's lack of food, his poverty and his need for attention. He became a big brother or father figure and made the complainant dependent on him. He used the pictures to break down his resistance to sex. He had sex in front of the complainant. Would our society at any time since confederation find it acceptable that a 46-year-old man have sex with a child, take pictures of him and pay him? Keep all this in mind when considering the circumstances.

Poll then claims that "Canadian society is more tolerant today, you might not all agree, but gay people can marry... Keep in mind changes in popular culture - the Super Bowl Janet Jackson affair, would the Sopranos have been on TV? Our standards and tolerance have changed, we have become a more tolerant society." This is patently untrue. Pornography laws have proliferated and the Supreme Court engaging in judicial activism has broadened the provisions of obscenity laws. I'm sure Mr. Poll was aware of all this. Movies made in the 1970s and 1980s could not be made today. The folly of gay marriage is essentially a conservative phenomena. It puts other gays into the lesser category of common law if not promiscuous relationships creating a two-tier system which can then be used as a basis of discrimination. In the 1980s, Janet Jackson's so called "wardrobe malfunction," which exposed a breast, would not have led to the furor and concern over children that it did in 2004. I saw Hair performed in the 1970s, which I should remind young people contained all-nude scenes and dances. While the conservative trend had begun by the early 1980s, those were far more liberal and tolerant times than today. Censorship of sexual materials was practically nonexistent. The AIDS panic had a profound effect on sexual behavior and attitudes, and big legal changes occurred in the early 1990s with the Butler decision dramatically tightening obscenity law and the new child pornography laws radically extending state powers to prohibit even simple of certain sexual material. We have to go back at least as far as the 1950s to find as repressive a period as the present, it was however more ignorant then which provided some freedom. Nevertheless there is widespread popular belief that society is becoming ever more permissive, promoted by social conservatives and the religious right, and accepted by mainstream media and discussion. As always those who cannot admit that they have anything to fear from greater government intrusion into their personal lives tend to welcome the persecution of others and see only a more protective and caring society.

Position of Trust

The prosecutor turns to the question of trust. "Consent cannot be given where the adult is in a position of trust", and Mr. Poll laid out the crown's case:

Oral sex happened, and Sharpe was not sure if it happened after his 14th birthday, it's his guess. Mutual masturbation also occurred, along with digital massage of Layton's anus, and digital penetration of Layton's anus. If you are unsure of his age then the crown must prove no consent. The accused was in a position of trust and the complainant only consented only because of Sharpe's influence, therefore consent is not valid. Sharpe testified he was not surprised that Layton thought of him as a father figure, clearly he knew. He knew about Layton's home situation. He knew or should of known that Layton was relying on him for support. Also he knew that Layton was not gay and would only have sex with a man for money.

It was an impressive performance: righteous, prurient, and careless of evidence.

My Summary

I made boldface printouts for my summation. I hadn't thought much about how to present myself. I had been ruffled by the outrageous lies, smirky attitude and insolence of the complainant, things I would have thought the judge should have done more to control. I was also ruffled by the prosecutor, Mr. Poll, with his predatory approach. I should have realized this when from the beginning he refused to talk to me. This was his privilege, but I doubt if he would done so had I lawyer at the start. I had also assumed that I would speak last, but as self represented, I was told the prosecutor spoke last.

Being a bad liar I more or less tried to act as naturally as I could. I opened by saying that this trial was as much about Mr. North's credibility as it was about me. I told the jurors that I had had a choice between trial by a judge alone, or trial by judge and jury, and I chose a jury. When I heard about Mr. North's fantastic hitchhiking tale - that I picked him up like a predator and took nude pictures of him right away and had sex soon after - I knew credibility was going to be a critical issue at my trial. I said that while people may not know a lot about the law, as ordinary Canadians I figure they're pretty good at figuring out when people are lying, pretty good about deciding questions of credibility. That is why I chose trial by jury. In retrospect, of course, that was a huge mistake.

I suggested that the hitchhiking tale is the basis of the Crown's case. Everything follows from it: the nude posing on the first day and the alleged sex which occurred soon after. Mr. North claimed that the relationship was a sexual one from the start. His tale doesn't fit the facts. I claimed that Mr. North's testimony is not only unreliable, but that it is a fabrication, an elaborate scenario that he invented. Mr. Poll had brushed against that issue. Several times he had said that the discrepancies in the complainant's testimony were a question of reliability, not credibility. Certainly Mr. North does not remember a lot of things, he says a lot is a blur. Certainly he has very little recall about posing, he doesn't even remember posing nude. He remembers not taking his pants off and always frowning. In the pictures he is smiling wide and naturally in a way that I couldn't have demanded of him. His testimony about the photos before he saw them are evidence that Mr. North has rewritten his boyhood so that he always had the same narrow views he has now - that's why he remembers always frowning. However, when he remembers the hitchhiking, he remembers all sorts of details - where we went, bits of conversation, that I was wearing a dorky shirt. I suggest it is so detailed because it was recently fabricated. When it comes to the sex he describes it in graphic detail, but when it comes to posing he supposedly can hardly remember anything. Basically anything he thought could help convict me he 'remembers' clearly, and he kept coming up with new things with which to accuse me of on the stand. It was as if his testimony were a work in progress. For example, I had told Layton about attempting anal sex with a young man I call Wayne, and that I gave it up. I told Layton that if he ever got into gay sex, anal sex was something to avoid. My telling him this story morphed into something that traumatized him to watch.

I began by reviewing the facts starting with the timeframes based on my car registration. When I cross-examined Mr. North I asked him about timelines. My car registrations show that I had the green Comet in 1978, the brown Biscayne in May 1980, and the red Pinto in 1981. Mr. North in his testimony clearly described the Biscayne although he thought it might have wood paneling. He described it as the car I picked him up in but he also testified that he rode in it several times, so he would have been familiar with it from other occasions. I did not buy that station wagon until late May 1980. If that was the case I would not have met him until after that. He recognized that the Comet was a compact - a compact station wagon, but that is a matter of general knowledge not a fact relevant to the case, as Mr. Poll implied when he said Mr. North agreed with me that I had two cars. Records show that I left 4th Avenue in 1980. Now this leaves just over 5 months that he could possibly have known me at 4th but he testified he knew me for a year or more at 4th Avenue.

I reviewed several other contradictions and implausibilities in the testimony and Crown evidence. I could not, and did not try, to refute the image painted of my permissive attitudes and unorthodox lifestyle. I could not claim the high ground in contemporary conservative morality, something I detest. At the end however, I thought I had cast sufficient doubt to win an acquittal, except the on the archaic, community-standards gross indecency charge.


There were usually a few spectators at the trial. In addition to the occasional reporters there were often one or two children's rights activists taking notes. On most days there would be two or three of my supporters, including one who took notes. This support was very important to me at the time. On the days that Mr. North was testifying, Chuck Cadman, the MP for Surrey North, attended. Cadman got involved in politics after his sixteen-year-old son was murdered in 1992 by a juvenile who was in violation of a court-imposed curfew at the time. He became a victims' right advocate, forming his own group CRY: Crime, Responsibility and Youth, and in 1993 he successfully ran for the old Reform Party on a law-and-order platform. In Parliament he argued in favour of tougher child pornography and young offender legislation. He spent a lot of time with Mr. North offering him encouragement during breaks in the trial. He may also have been the MP who attended part of the preliminary hearing in 2003.

The activists include a representative from Focus on the Family, a right-wing Christian group, and Rosalind Prober of Beyond Borders, an affiliate of ECPAT, which campaigns against child pornography and child prostitution in the Third World. Both groups had been involved in my previous case as intervenors. I first met Ms. Prober at the B.C. Court of Appeals hearings in 1998 where she aggressively accosted me. I was familiar with ECPAT's activities in the Philippines trying to shame local officials and campaigning against pedophiles. I accused her organization of encouraging the brothelization of Third World child prostitution by pursuing street hustlers and their customers. Conditions in the brothels, which were protected from Western meddlers by payoffs, were far worse as the girls involved had no control over their lives. Rosalind Prober also spent some time tête-à-tête with Mr. North feeding him salacious tidbits which he used in his testimony.

Detectives Waters and Beisick, who testified early in the trial, also attended and I saw them on several occasions conferring with Mr. North. I raised the point with Judge Edwards, as it was my understanding that those who had already given testimony were not to talk to witnesses who were under oath. The judge said there was no problem as long as they did not reveal their testimony. While they may not have been doing that, which would not have been of much benefit to Mr. North anyway, I got the impression that they were coaching him on how to handle questions under cross-examination as when he began answering my questions with ones of his own, and using his replies as an opportunity to add to his allegations.

While Mr. North's coming forward and testifying against me may have been a kind of exorcism it also gave him a claim on victimhood, a designation demanding respect and sympathy in contemporary society. By becoming an officially-sanctioned victim with my conviction, he becomes absolved for all his boyhood eagerness and pleasure in sex with a man. My guilt exonerates him.

While the jury was sequestered and deliberating I had to hang around the courthouse. I think it was three days before they came in with their decision, by which time I was not optimistic. I was guilty of indecent assault of a male and gross indecency. I was acquitted of the sexual assault charge, which the prosecutor said depended on whether the sexual relationship continued after the law was changed. It was an unnecessary and complicating argument.

After the Verdict

At the end of my summation I thought I'd won. I believed that I had established that the complainant's story was a deliberate fabrication. I did not pay much attention to the charge of gross indecency, which given its nature I regarded with contempt. Mr. North's account did not fit the timelines of the cars I owned and the time I lived at 4th Avenue. This was all in the Information to the Crown. At the most he could have known me five months at 4th Avenue. The behaviour he ascribes to both himself and me are strikingly irrational and illogical in terms of other parts of his testimony. The fearful eleven-year-old boy acts with extreme boldness by getting into a car with an odd looking, possibly gay stranger. A man he describes as patient, frugal and careful engages in very risky behaviour, taking no precautions to protect himself from serious consequences.

I am not sure why the jury came in with a guilty verdict. Perhaps I should have been more emphatic. During the trial I thought of the jury as an abstract entity that was there to assess the credibility of the evidence. I saw them collectively and passively and only rarely viewed any individually. Did they believe Mr. North's basic story with generous allowance for unreliability of his imagination? Did they have reasonable doubts about Mr. North's tale but nevertheless believed that sex began before the complainant was 14, something I in all honesty could not state unequivocally. Did they believe beyond a reasonable doubt that although sex did not begin before he was 14 the relationship involved a position of trust? Poll stressed that I was like a father to little Layton. Or did they believe I was the type of indecent man Poll (and Judge Edwards) implied, and that it was their civic duty to convict me regardless of doubts about the evidence against me? I realize that many people would have no qualms about Mr. North lying if that was necessary to convict me, and would probably congratulate him on his ingenuity. In the end I had to wonder if the credibility of the complainant was relevant.

My Appeal

I began working on an appeal of my conviction immediately after sentencing and incarceration. I was able to obtain copies of the judge's instructions to the jury and some other court documents within a week, and began studying them and taking notes for the appeal factum. My first eighteen days were spent at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in a maximum-security range. It was difficult as the only place I could work was in my cell and I was double bunked with a series of chronic TV watchers. It was very distracting. The only time I could do much work was after lights out and using the glow from the signalless television screen. After I was transferred to Ford Mountain Correctional Centre, I had my own cell with a desk surface which I could use after I stashed the TV set under my bunk, something that astonished other inmates. I hardly ever watched television while I was in jail.

As mine had been a jury trial the key document for the appeal was the judge's four page Jury Instructions as the appeal had to be on points of law rather than fact.

I was able to file my appeal, including a fourteen page handwritten factum giving my arguments within the thirty day limit set for appealing convictions. These helped convince people in legal aid that my appeal had merit although they were not used in my lawyer's submission to the Court of Appeal which quashed my conviction for indecent assault.


(typed from original 14 page handwritten factum prepared by the appellant)

Ford Mountain Correctional Centre

57657 Chilliwack Lake Road,

Chilliwack, B.C. V4Z 1A7

Grounds for Appeal of Verdict in

H.M.Q. v. John Robin Sharpe

(before the Honourable Justice Edwards & Jury)

Vancouver, B.C. February/March 2004.

Vancouver Registry 21321

Prepared by the accused:

John Robin Sharpe

(signed) Robin Sharpe

Having read Justice Edward's Instructions to the Jury and having referred to the appropriate pages in the trial transcript and other evidence before the court I have noted several possible flaws in the Instructions. I submit that the Instructions are in part:

1.based on mistaken perceptions or recall;


3.careless and

4.biased. \

The latter is particularly evident when he reformulates and presents the Crown and defence theories, and his selection of "Evidence of what I believe will be significant in your deliberations." [para.45]

In presenting the defence theory to the jury , particularly in [108] the judge ignores the accused's basic argument attacking the logic and consistency of the Crown's version of the beginning and evolution of the relationship the accused and the complainant. He further minimizes the defence theory at [111]. While he makes the standard instruction that the jury may believe some, all or none of a witness's testimony he specifically notes that the Crown need not prove that the accused and the complainant met in a particular way without referring to the key role this had played in establishing the chronology, context and timing for the offence of indecent assault. The judge in effect invites the jury to disregard the origins and evolution of the relationship.

In his presentation the judge also disregards the main reason advanced by the accused for the complainant fabricating the tale about being picked up while hitch-hiking and the events which he claimed followed from that event. These were nude posing and sexual activity within a timeline well before his fourteenth birthday. In other words the tale was essential for establishing the elements of the offence. The only other theory of the beginning of sexual activity was advanced by the accused but which raised a reasonable doubt about whether this was before complainant's fourteenth birthday. The judge's reformulation of the defence theory is markedly incomplete and is biased in relation to his treatment of the Crown's theory. [105 et al]

In his instructions on evaluating the testimony of witnesses at [115] the judge singles out or draws attention to an error made by the accused in admitting the age of the complainant in Exhibition #4. This error might be covered more appropriately In his instructions on innocent discrepancies at [119].

The judge's instructions given at [121] pertaining to assessing the evidence of an adult testifying about events occurring during his childhood are confusing if not vague and inconsistent. It could easily be construed by the jury as advising them to grant a special dispensation to complainant's testimony and credibility.

At [122] the judge instructs the jury to decide which parts of the fictional poem/prose story SUCK IT! Are factual. Given the discipline of a literary undertaking regardless of any consideration of literary or artistic merit, this instruction {places} an impossible demand on the jurors even where the author admits that parts of the work, SUCK IT! Were borrowed or suggested by his relationship with the complainant. This is not a problem that expert literary testimony could overcome.

In addition while mentioning the letter (the letter the accused wrote to Dr. Brongersma in 1993 which the Crown entered as an exhibit ) the judge fails to mention that the accused adopted it as true in its entirety except for the use of different names. The judge states incorrectly at [210] that the accused admitted that the events were given in the chronologically wrong order in the letter. The accused denied this, pointing out an ordering of the events in the letter which supported his testimony and was exculpatory rather than incriminating. The judge also fails to mention that the letter was written in 1993 long before the charges in the case were laid and directly contradict the testimony of the complainant as to the series of events leading to and including the Crown's argument for establishing the offence of indecent assault.

The judge at [123] should also have stated that out of court statements if CONSISTENT can support a witness's credibility. He implies that out of court statements can only be used to test witness credibility if INCONSISTENT.

At [124] the judge could have clarified this convoluted instruction by the use of an example as he did at [111].

The judge's instruction at [126] to ignore out of court statements which are consistent with a witness's testimony creates a problem where a consistent out of court statement adopted as true by a witness includes additional evidence to that given by the witness in testimony. In respect to the content of the letter to Dr. Brongersma the judge erred or acted prejudicially in instructing the jury to ignore it.

At [128] the judge tells the jury that they may look at the points of the out of court statements "AND WRITINGS" about which the accused was cross-examined and decide whether they may incriminate him or show that he is guilty. Again this could lead the jury to ignore or minimize the significance of other parts of the out of court statements.

At [129] the judge fails to distinguish between a published work of fiction and a confidential letter relating very personal details of the accused's life leaving it open for the jury to falsely equate in important respects.

In his discussion of credibility factors at [130] the judge instructs on the basis of assumptions that the accused had challenged. Firstly, in relation to a witness's testimony he mentions as adding credibility, "SOMETHING UNUSUAL OR MEMORABLE WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE IT STICK IN THE WITNESS'S MIND." This only applies on the assumption that the witness is sincerely trying to state what he believes to be the truth. A key part of the accused's defence was that the complainant was a blatant liar and had fabricated a series of events into which his basic allegations were woven. Unusual or memorable details used by the complainant include such things as "smoke rings", "mashed potato clouds", "keys jangling", and a particular brand of aftershave. None of these bear any direct relationship to the events, the elements of the counts, but by being associated with them can create a false aura of authenticity. I claim that the complainant cleverly made use of this technique. The judge in light of the accused's claim of fabrication should have qualified his instructions and/or warned the jurors of the possibility.

Further into [130] the judge asks, "DID THE WITNESS HAVE DIFFICULTY RECALLING IMPORTANT DETAILS?" Given that the complainant denied any recall of the residence where the accused lived he helped arrange a loan made by the accused to the mother of the complainant (W-6th Ave.) the judge should have included this example of a witness denying important details he could be expected to know.

The list of credibility factors list by the judge excluded consideration of whether the witness's testimony was logically consistent between his descriptions of character, both of himself and the accused or complainant and the actions and behaviour he ascribes to the person.

In his review of the evidence [145 to 181] the judge summarizes "THE EVIDENCE OF WHICH I BELIEVE WILL BE SIGNIFICANT FOR YOUR DELIBERATIONS". He rightly omits evidence relating to non controversial matters or which have no direct bearing on the issues the jury has to decide.

The complainant's evidence about meeting the accused while hitch-hiking [149] excludes mention that he also testified that he was fearful about men in cars, albeit in the dark, which was a point emphasized the accused in cross examination and summation.

In paragraphs [158, 159 & 160] the judge includes in his review details of the complainant's testimony what might be termed authenticating details similar to the "SOMETHING UNUSUAL OR MEMORABLE" he gave in [130]. He mentions; "FALSE TEETH", "SCARS ON HIS LOWER ABDOMEN", the size of the accused's penis and "WASHING HIMSELF...AFTER", none of which directly related to the alleged acts and which are things the complainant would be aware of from previous or other occasions. Inclusion of these extraneous details in his assessment of significant evidence is prejudicial as they tend to validate the complainant's testimony. If he includes them he should subject them to some qualifications as given in the points relating to [130].

While only a minor point the judge at [117] referring to the complainant's lack of recall about the trip to the Okanagan "WHERE SOME OF THE OUTDOOR NUDE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN" carelessly overlooks the evidence that most or all but two of the nude outdoor photos were taken in the Okanagan as indicated by the backgrounds of the pictures as well as by the unchallenged testimony of the accused. In respect to the complainant's lack of recall about posing and the photos the judge could have directed the jury to the photo exhibits themselves.

In his summary of the significant evidence of the accused [189 to 212] the judge in [190] states that the accused "GAVE" the complainant marijuana when the wording in the transcript for March 4, page 6, lines 21 to 22 is "allowed them to join in smoking marijuana" which conveys a significantly meaning. The judge's wording is prejudicial.

Another minor point, but one which suggests that the accused was not as forthright in his testimony as evidenced in the transcript for March 4, page 22, lines 40 to 444, is that after developing some of the nude photos, "A FEW OF WHICH HE SHOWED THE COMPLAINANT", when the transcript clearly implies that he showed ALL to the complainant.

At [203] when discussing the end of the relationship the judge's summary says that the accused testified the relationship was "STRAINED AT THE TIME WHEN HE SPOKE TO THE COMPLAINANT'S" rather than as a result of the missed payments as the accused testified in the transcript March 4, page 31, lines 19 to 31. While only a minor point it tends to minimize the theft of loan payments given in the accused version.

In his review of the accused's testimony re the denial of sex he made to the police the judge omits the reason given by the accused for not wanting to be held in custody until trial. The reason was that the accused wanted to be able to prepare his own defence, something he knew would be extremely difficult while in custody. He was planning to act as his own counsel at the time and in fact did at trial. The judge as at other points adopts Crown counsel's interpretations.

At [210] the judge in relation to the order of events related to Dr. Brongersma, the judge states that the accused "DENIED THEY WERE IN CHRONOLOGICALLY CORRECT SEQUENCE". In the transcript , March 8, page 26, lines 30 to 34 it is clear that the chronology is stated as a matter of interpretation, not a denial as the judge and Crown counsel claimed. The judge accepts the Crown's interpretation. This can be checked against the actual wording of the letter written to Dr. Brongersma which was entered as an exhibit.

At [211] the judge in re-stating the accused's testimony in relation to SUCK IT! ignores that it is basically fiction, a semi poem, and treats it as a series of statements uncritically following the Crown's approach. His review of the accused's testimony is misleading and could easily prejudice the jury.

The judge's general instructions at [213, 214] and elsewhere do not adequately compensate for his bias in his review of the witness's testimony and his selection of the evidence which he believes "WILL BE SIGNIFICANT" in the jury's deliberations. [145]

I also believe that the judge should have been more helpful in the accused's attempts to control the complainant's evasiveness, rambling and new accusations during the cross-examination.

(signed) Robin Sharpe Aug 7th, 2004


The Legal Services Society of B.C. reviewed my submission and factum and found some merit in my appeal. Michael D. Smith a lawyer with the society looked at my appeal and made a thorough review of the Instructions, the transcripts and other court documents and prepared a report. Although I never met him I was able to talk to him over the phone. I was impressed and grateful for the work he so ably prepared.

This helped me to obtain funding under s. 684 of the Criminal Code, the so-called Rowbotham section. This section makes money available for certain cases where legal aid does not apply. Curiously, I would have been able to get legal aid had I not been in jail as my minimal living expenses made me ineligible.

He identified legal errors in the judge's Jury Instructions which proved persuasive. As a result leave to appeal was granted and I was able to choose a lawyer, Ian Donaldson, to take my appeal to the B.C. Court of Appeals. This was six months before my due release date. In the APPELANT'S FACTUM that Ian Donaldson submitted to the Court of Appeal he reviewed the testimony and using case law argued that the judge made two errors in judgment in his Jury Instructions. First:


Donaldson argued that the judge was led into error by the Crown's submissions. The complainant had readily consented to the sexual activity but the prosecutor Eliot Z. Poll had claimed that "any apparent consent was vitiated, or not genuine, in light of all the circumstances giving rise to a relationship of trust." Under the law at the time up to January 4, 1983 when it was added, trust was not a factor in the validity of consent. As the complainant's testimony did not provide evidence that sex occurred after that date, and the Crown did not vigorously push for a conviction, I had been acquitted of sexual assault under the new sexual assault law which replaced the indecent assault offence. He claims "The jury should have been instructed to acquit the appellant (me) of indecent assault on the basis of valid consent if they had a reasonable doubt that the conduct occurred before (complainant's) 14th birthday. Instead they were misdirected to analyze the agreed upon consent see if a 'trust relationship' invalidated it. This substantially undermined the appellant's defence, and we say was legal error." Beyond supporting the complainant's testimony and denying there was any fabrication the Crown did not prove that the sex occurred before the complainant turned 14 . Donaldson states: "It cannot be said on what basis the jury reached its conclusion, and in the result the appellant submits that the verdict must be quashed."

On the gross indecency he claims that the trial judge while correctly instructing the jury that consent, while not a defence, could be considered in determining the whether the acts alleged amounted to gross indecency. Again the judge misdirected the jury to find that consent was not genuine due to the trust relationship. However with all the moralistic and lifestyle factors that can enter into consideration of this offence, the trust argument is less persuasive. That such a law continues to be so used long after its repeal demeans the legal system.



During my cross examination of Mr. North he repeatedly cast personal aspersions at me impugning my character. Contrary to his statements in his police interview where he said I was a danger to no one he now volunteered that I was a "danger to society", a dangerous predator, one who traveled to Third World countries to molest young boys. He would answer questions with new, 'just remembered' allegations. It was quite a performance and effective I think. I complained to the judge about this a few times but got very little support. My lawyer points out that the judge gave limiting instructions concerning character evidence such as the taking of nude photos and providing alcohol, tobacco and marijuana to the complainant and material that I had written but no limiting instruction regarding Mr. North's repeated barbs directed at me. The appeal argued that the jury could easily have found based on these statements that I had a propensity to commit indecent assaults and gross indecency. I had found the barbs extremely frustrating particularly as I could not do anything about them. Case law had led to new trials where trial judges failed to give specific limiting instruction in similar situations. At the end of the appeal Donaldson submitted it recommended that the convictions be quashed and a new trial ordered. I was not optimistic, it was all moot now, but I belated derived a bit of satisfaction. I would not have wanted to go through a new trial, and I don't think the government would have risked it.

The appeal court's ruling did not come down until May 2007, sixteen months after I was released and over twelve years after my legal troubles began with my arrest in April 1995. The indecent assault conviction was quashed but the Court of Appeal reactivated my conviction on the lesser charge of gross indecency, which had been stayed at the time of sentencing, and applied the original sentence of two years less a day. There was no point in pursuing further legal action.

Montreal April, 2010


Content of this website is released with ‘copyleft’ license, that is you are free to copy, redistribute or use it for your own purposes provided you retain the present copyleft notice including my name and contact information, allowing others to subsequently reuse the material.  Robin Sharpe, crankyman98@gmail.com.