A Dartmouth, N.S., man accused of breaking into homes and watching women sleep in Halifax's south end has been found guilty of one count of breaking and entering, but cleared of all other charges.
Barry Sinclair, 50, was charged with two counts of breaking and entering and five counts of voyeurism. Judge Michael Wood delivered his ruling in Halifax provincial court Tuesday afternoon.
Sinclair was found guilty of one count of breaking and entering. In that case, his cellphone was found in a mop bucket in a woman's apartment.
While the judge accepted there was a second break-in, he questioned the evidence used to tie Sinclair to the crime.
A woman told court she woke to find a man in her bedroom, his mouth open as he stared at her. But the 22-year-old did not pick Sinclair when she examined a police lineup.
Wood acquitted Sinclair on two charges related to that break-in.
"We felt we presented a strong circumstantial case," said Denise Smith, the Crown prosecutor. "Unfortunately the court was not satisfied that he had also committed a break and enter at another location, just a kilometre away and half an hour apart."
Cleared of voyeurism
Sinclair was also charged with voyeurism after Halifax Regional Police said they found a video in his dresser drawer showing women unaware they were being "watched" as they undressed.
The judge said whoever made the video is guilty, but Wood was not satisfied it was Sinclair.
Smith called the verdict disappointing.
"Short of the police catching somebody in the act with the videotape … there would be no way of ever beating that standard of proof," she said. "We felt that it was sufficient that the videotape was found in his possession."
Despite the not-guilty verdicts, the prosecution asked for a sex offender assessment before Sinclair is sentenced on the breaking and entering charge. Sinclair's lawyers opposed the move, saying the conviction has no sexual component.
Wood rejected the request, but did order a pre-sentence report.
Sinclair has been in police custody since his arrest in September 2011. Smith said she will ask for jail time when Sinclair is sentenced on Feb. 25, 2013.
Prior to Sinclair's arrest, more than a dozen women in Halifax's south end reported they woke up in their homes to find a man watching or touching them.