Nfld. & Labrador

Labrador man sent to jail for child pornography possession

Valance Job Oliver, a man well known for community activities in central Labrador that included playing Santa Claus, was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in jail for possessing child pornography. 
Valance Job Oliver, seen during a 2019 court appearance, was sentenced Thursday to jail for possessing child pornography. (CBC)

Valance Job Oliver, a man well known for community activities in central Labrador that included playing Santa Claus, was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in jail for possessing child pornography. 

Judge Rolf Pritchard issued the sentence during a hearing at provincial court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. 

Oliver, a former communications official for the Newfoundland and Labrador government and MP Yvonne Jones, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. 

The defence had asked for a sentence of 12 months, the statutory minimum in the range for this type of offence. The Crown's submission to Pritchard was for a range of 15-18 months. 

"The demand and viewing of child pornography creates a demand and because of that demand victims are exploited," Pritchard told the court. "So this is not a victimless crime." 

In a prior court appearance, Oliver — who, through his media company, filmed children's dance recitals and school concerts in Happy Valley-Goose Bay — said he was remorseful and that addictions had played a role in his use of child pornography.

"I was brought up on family values, very tight-knit family values, and I ignored those values to the point that I destroyed everything," he said during a recent sentencing hearing. 

"I just hope that I can get back to where I was 12, 13 years ago when I was a kind and a generous person in society."

Pritchard also ordered Oliver's name to be added permanently to the national sexual offenders registry. 

Oliver will be on probation for three years when he is released from jail. 

Oliver has asked that he serve his sentence at a correctional facility in Bishop's Falls, N.L., so he can enrol in sex offender treatment programs. Pritchard said while that is an issue for corrections officials to decide, he thought it was a reasonable request.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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