Nova Scotia

Human trafficker gets additional year for threatening his victim

A 22-year-old East Preston, N.S., man is facing an additional year in prison for threatening the 14-year-old girl he'd already been convicted of trafficking.

Last December, Owen Gibson-Skeir pointed his finger at the victim, made a gun gesture and said 'I'll be out'

Owen Gibson-Skeir pleaded guilty on Wednesday to threatening his teenage victim and contacting her in violation of a court order. (CBC)

A 22-year-old East Preston, N.S., man is facing an additional year in prison for threatening the 14-year-old girl he'd already been convicted of trafficking.

The one-year additional sentence for Owen Gibson-Skeir was added to the seven-year term he's already serving for human trafficking.

On Wednesday morning in Halifax provincial court, Gibson-Skeir pleaded guilty to threatening the girl and contacting her in violation of a court order.

The charges stem from an incident at the same courthouse last December. As Gibson-Skeir was being led from the courtroom after entering guilty pleas to the human trafficking charges, he pointed his finger at the girl, made a gun gesture and told her "I'll be out."

Owen Gibson-Skeir, 21, hand signals a gun at his victim on Dec. 21, 2016. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

"It was a very, very serious charge, in my opinion," Crown prosecutor Melanie Perry said outside court Wednesday.

"This was a girl who ... had already been victimized by this man in the most horrible way possible who was in a courtroom and should have felt safe."

Many previous convictions

Perry told court that Gibson-Skeir has 54 prior convictions, eight of them for violent crimes and 33 for breaching court orders.

Gibson-Skeir pleaded guilty in December to trafficking in a person under the age of 18, receiving material benefit from trafficking, and sexual assault. Gibson-Skeir trafficked the victim at Halifax-area hotels between January and March 2016.

He posted ads online, and made his victim call him "Daddy."

The victim, who's now 15, was not in court for the guilty pleas on the additional charges and chose not to submit a victim impact statement.

Perry said she's spoken to the girl's mother and she's doing quite well.

About the Author

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca