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Trucker gets six months for kiddie porn

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A long-haul trucker was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday after Canada Border Services officials discovered child pornography on his cellphone.

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Christopher Murrins, 50, was stopped at a Leeds and Grenville border crossing on April 13, 2017 and a search of the trucker’s phone discovered 86 images of naked boys and girls under the age of 16.

Superior Court Justice Brian Abrams sentenced Mullins to six months in jail and 18 months of probation for the child porn after both the defence and Crown Attorney Alan Findlay recommended the six-month sentence.

The judge noted that Murrins pleaded guilty to the charges and that he has no criminal record.

While child pornography is a serious offence that re-victimizes young victims “over and over again,” the porn on Murrins’ phone was “on the lower end of the spectrum,” Abrams said.

When released, Murrins will be prohibited from taking a job or voluntary position of authority over youths under the age of 16. Abrams also prohibited him from being alone with kids under 16 or possessing naked pictures of children.

Murrins will be placed on the sex-offender registry for 10 years.

The court heard that Murrins has two daughters over 16 years of age and that he is the sole supporter of his aged father with whom he lives.

The Murrins case is similar to an incident at the Johnstown border crossing in January of 2018 in which border services officer Johnny Bueckert searched the phone of 20-year-old student Gurbir Singh and found a porn video.

But in June of this year, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the search of Singh’s phone was illegal and that Canada Border Services should not have searched it without a warrant.

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“Officer Bueckert acted outside of the limits of his search powers as a border security officer and his search of Mr. Singh’s phone, without a warrant, was unlawful,” Justice Elaine Deluzio ruled in a 13-page judgment.

“The evidence establishes that the charter-infringing state conduct in this case is serious, long-standing and systemic. Border officers are instructed to continue searching cellphones and other electronic devices after they find child pornography, until they find at least three images,” she said.

“The system that has been in place at the Prescott port of entry involves border officers essentially acting as agents of the police, conducting searches of cellphones and other devices for the sole purpose of gathering evidence to support Criminal Code charges and Criminal Code prosecutions.”

It was not revealed in court on Monday whether the Murrins search was at the Johnstown crossing or the Thousand Islands Bridge near Lansdowne.

wlowrie@postmedia.com

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