A man convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy who was chained for days in a remote cabin in Nova Scotia has been sentenced in Bridgewater Supreme Court to 24 months in prison. 

Justice Richard Coughlan accepted the Crown's sentencing recommendation of 24 months plus probation of three years for John Leonard MacKean, 65.

MacKean, of Lower Sackville, was found guilty in March of sexual assault and communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18.

As Coughlan read the sentence, MacKean sat with his hands folded in front of his face. MacKean's daughter sobbed as her father was led away in handcuffs.

'You raped his future'

Tuesday morning, the boy's mother told the court her son's attack "has scarred him and it continues to this day to plague and traumatize him."

'Not only did you rape a young boy ... but you raped his body, you raped his soul, you raped his future, and that is something that cannot be fixed.'- Mother of victim
cabin

Now abandoned, this is what the cabin where the horrific crimes took place two years ago looks like today. (Blair Rhodes/CBC)

She cannot be identified due to a publication ban to protect her son's identity. 

"Not only did you rape a young boy ... but you raped his body, you raped his soul, you raped his future, and that is something that cannot be fixed and I am left with trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life,” the boy's mother said to MacKean Tuesday.

MacKean's crimes date back to September 2012, when the boy who was 16 at the time emerged half-naked from the woods. He said he had been chained in a cabin and assaulted by three men.

Crown attorney Lloyd Tancock said he’s pleased with the sentence, but called MacKean's crimes "atrocious." 

"Just the age of the youth, the disparity in ages between the young fellow and the accused, the fact that it was under horrendous circumstances, that he knew what was going on, that it had been prearranged — it was all atrocious," he said.

Tancock said the fact that he didn’t have a prior record mitigated the sentence. He said he's encountered these types of cases before, but not in Nova Scotia.

“Not belittling these circumstances, but we hear of these [sorts of cases] in large centres but very, very disturbing facts for rural, small county, small province,” he said.

Tancock said cases like these leave a lasting impact. 

"When the facts are as horrendous as this, it doesn’t go away, it’s there for the rest of their life. They learn through appropriate counselling, etcetera, to cope with it, deal with it, but it just doesn’t go away and that’s the devastating impact."

Defence lawyer Mike Taylor agreed with the sentence.

"I think after considering all of the circumstances, it was an appropriate sentence. The Crown took a reasonable approach to it and given the requirements of the Criminal Code, the kind of programming that would be put in place for Mr. MacKean, it just made sense to do it in a federal institution," he said.

MacKean, who has been diagnosed with a heart condition, has special requirements for his health while he's in prison.

Live Blog John Leonard MacKean sentencing
 
 

Conditions of probation

David James Leblanc and Wayne Alan Cunningham fled to Ontario, where Cunningham died.  

Leblanc was returned to Nova Scotia, where he pleaded guilty to charges including sexual assault, kidnapping and forcible confinement. He's serving an 11-year prison sentence.

Both the defence and Crown agreed that supervision in the community after MacKean's release would be advisable. 

While on probation, MacKean must stay away from the teen boy and get psychological counselling. 

A 10-year weapons ban as well as a lifetime sex offender registry order have also been imposed on MacKean. He must also provide a DNA sample to authorities. 

Court heard that MacKean was invited to the cabin by Cunningham, who arranged for MacKean to sexually assault the boy.

MacKean had remained free on bail until his appearance Tuesday for sentencing.