Judge sentences time served for high-risk sex offender’s breach

Phillipe Poisson, was sentenced to four months time served for a breach of conditions and is supposed to be released back into the community of Kaleden. - Courtesy of RCMP
Phillipe Poisson, was sentenced to four months time served for a breach of conditions and is supposed to be released back into the community of Kaleden.
— image credit: Courtesy of RCMP

A high risk sex offender was found guilty of breaching his conditions after communicating with a teenage girl in Kaleden.

Phillipe Poisson was sentenced to four months of jail time on Wednesday at the Penticton provincial courthouse. The 20-year-old man has already served his sentence awaiting trial and was intended to be released back to a residence in Kaleden on Thursday.

A 14-year-old girl testified, “It made my heart stop,” when she recognized Poisson on Jan. 7, who was walking with his dog towards her while she waited outside the Kaleden general store for her friend. The girl said she recognized him from emails that were circulated at the school and photos she saw on Google at home. The teen also said she knew Poisson was living in the community but had not had any contact or seen him in person.

The girl, who had walked her horse to the store, said she turned and began rapidly walking home when it “clicked in” that it was Poisson. She felt the man was following her because he turned in the same direction as her near the library and said she was scared. Poisson came within 10 metres of the girl and asked if he could pet her horse, to which the girl replied her horse is scared of dogs, to give a reason for him to stop coming towards her. Then she continued walking.

The teen said Poisson said he would tie his dog up and did so. Seconds later a woman who knows the teen pulled up in a vehicle asking if she was OK. The teen said she wasn’t and thought Poisson was following her. The woman in the car then spoke with Poisson while the girl walked to her house. The teen said she began crying and told her father what had happened and explained what Poisson was wearing. Later they saw Poisson walking on another street and the father pulled out binoculars and confirmed it was the man they knew as a high- risk sex offender and called the RCMP.

While Crown counsel John Swanson said Poisson had signed a document stating he completely understood the seriousness of the conditions and knew the consequences if he breached them, defence lawyer James Pennington said Poisson has a diminished mental capacity and believes his intentions were most likely innocent.

“Certainly this is a case where he should have thought and that may be difficult for him,” said Pennington.

Poisson has breached his conditions a number of times and while in jail in Kamloops got into an argument with guards that resulted in another conviction.

The man is on a 24-month recognizance, after a judge determined Penticton RCMP concerns were valid that Poisson was at risk of committing a sexual offence against a young person.

The recognizance has a number of conditions including a curfew and not to have contact with anyone under the age of 16. Pennington said this poses a large problem for Poisson, who possibly could be in contact with someone that age if they happened to work at a store. He also pointed out Poisson had issues when family who hadn’t seen the man in a long time came to visit him and had two young children with them.

Judge James Threlfall said the information for him to change that order was not before him and therefore he could not make changes to it.

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