Nova Scotia

Sex-abuse claims made up: Sydney man

A Sydney, N.S., man charged with sexually abusing children told a court Saturday that his accusers are jealous of him and making up their testimony.

A Sydney, N.S., man charged with sexually abusing children told a court Saturday that his accusers are jealous of him and making up their testimony.

Paul Canning, 49, testified as the Crown continued its cross-examination on 11 sex-related charges. The former minor hockey administrator was charged in 2009 with sexual assault, sexual interference, indecent exposure and invitation to sexual touching.

The case involves four complainants between 1980 and 2009. They cannot be identified because of a publication ban.

Canning helped administer the Sydney Minor Hockey Association and owned a business offering spring and summer hockey camps.

On Saturday, Crown prosecutor Darcy McPherson asked Canning why he thought the four were making up the allegations.

Canning said one is jealous of him and the three properties he owns. He said the others made up their stories to extort money from him, and the youngest complainant made up his allegations to support his brother.

McPherson noted that the youngest man went to police weeks before his brother.

Three of the witnesses have told the court Canning showed them pornography while he was molesting them. On Saturday, Canning said he may have rented or bought pornography, but never viewed it with the boys. 

The court is sitting on the weekend so that Canning's testimony would not be interrupted and because Judge Peter Ross is booked for other trials next week.

Canning is representing himself. The case continues Saturday afternoon.

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