EDMONTON — An Alberta man who sexually abused his step-granddaughter more than 100 hundred times for eight years starting when she was four has had his conditional sentence thrown out.
The Court of Appeal said in its ruling released Wednesday that the sentencing judge’s conditional sentence of two years less a day was unfit.
The appeal court said the sentencing judge was wrong to conclude that there was no evidence that the woman suffered from any psychological harm.
The woman spoke at the sentencing hearing of learning how to cope, but the appeal court pointed out that psychological harm may not be obvious or even detected at sentencing.
It also said the breach of trust in the case was especially bad because the child was sent to live with the man to get her away from someone who was accused of sexually assaulting her.
The appeal court ordered a jail sentence of four years, with credit given to the time served on the conditional sentence.
The man, who is now in his early 70s, has a number of medical conditions related to age, and that he suffers from anxiety and depression, but that those medical needs can be accommodated in prison, the appeal court said.
“We are a society that seeks to protect its children, and there is no doubt that the harm to the victim is also a harm to society. Canadians must know that abusing a child in this way is a serious crime and will not be tolerated,” the court said in its ruling.