Chilliwack Law Courts.

Chilliwack Law Courts.

Chilliwack man who downloaded child porn to prove a point sentenced to six months

When Mark Laite’s ex-wife suggested they put young daughter in child modelling, he downloaded explicit images as a warning to her

A Chilliwack man learned a hard lesson this week about downloading child pornography to try to prove a point.

Mark Anthony Brian Laite was sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence of six months in jail for downloading two explicit sexual images involving men and girls between the ages of four and seven.

Appearing via video in Chilliwack court on Friday because of a serious injury sustained in a vehicle accident, Laite seemed to be having an anxiety attack in the video room of Surrey Pre-Trial Centre.

“I’m having very high anxiety,” Laite said at one point, breathing heavily and sitting down. “I’m very sorry.”

It was the odd — if not mitigating — circumstances surrounding the downloads that had his lawyer and the Crown agreeing to the joint submission.

Defence lawyer Jayse Reveley told the court that Laite was in a phone conversation with his ex-wife who suggested they put their seven-year-old daughter into child modelling as a source of income.

“Mr. Laite was very concerned about that prospect,” Reveley told the court.

The 36-year-old then downloaded the images of child rape and sent them to his ex-wife via Facebook.

“He wasn’t collecting for his own titillation,” Reveley said. “It was a crude and inappropriate reason to dissuade his ex-wife from what Mr. Laite perceived to be some kind of risk.”

Laite’s actions triggered the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the U.S. to contact the RCMP’s Integrated Child Exploitation (ICE) unit leading to the investigation.

Laite was charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of importing/distributing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to the former. The latter count was stayed by the Crown.

Laite, who does have a criminal record from B.C. and who is addicted to methamphetemine, is originally from Newfoundland and told the court he was immediately headed back east after his release to enter a drug treatment program.

“I’m disgusted by the whole thing,” he said. “I’m so sorry.”

By April 7, Laite had been in custody for four months since Dec. 7, so with time-and-a-half credit for time served, he was likely to be released on April 8.

paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch