Jeffrey Alan Goddard (BC Corrections photo)

Appeal court strikes down two of Surrey sex offender’s probation conditions

Jeffrey Alan Goddard’s lawyer successfully argued they infringed upon his Charter Rights

A man with a history of sex crimes against children as well as probation breaches has had two of his Surrey provincial court-ordered conditions struck down by the Court of Appeal after his lawyer successfully argued they infringed upon his Charter Rights.

Jeffrey Alan Goddard, 29, took issue with six of 23 court-imposed probation conditions. He has been the subject of three BC Corrections bulletins, in 2013, 2017 and 2018 warning the public that he was living in Surrey.

Justice Gregory Fitch struck the two probation conditions down, with Justices James Bauman and Mary Newbury concurring. He also amended three others.

“By consenting to a search of his residence or his electronic devices in the absence of any grounds to believe that he was committing or had committed an offence,” Fitch concluded, “the appellant would effectively be waiving his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.”

READ ALSO: Hepner says ‘it’s absolutely ridiculous’ high-risk sex offender living in Surrey

Goddard had pleaded guilty to breaching a condition of his probation prohibiting him from possessing a cellphone capable of accessing the internet. He was sentenced to one day in prison after receiving 11 months of credit for pre-sentence custody, to be followed by three years of probation.

He has a criminal record dating back to 2010.

Of the two conditions struck, Fitch noted, “condition 17 authorizes much more than a cursory search of a device found in the appellant’s possession for the limited purpose of determining whether it is capable to accessing the internet.

“With the appellant’s consent, condition 17 authorizes the seizure of the device and forensic examination of the data it stores to ensure compliance with the terms of the order. With the appellant’s consent, condition 18 similarly permits a search of his home, a place in which he obviously has a significant privacy interest.”

READ ALSO: Convicted sex offender Jeff Goddard wanted by police

On June 2, 2011 Goddard was sentenced for three crimes committed in 2010, namely impersonating a police officer, communicating by computer to lure a child under age 16, and invitation to sexual touching. In the first two crimes, he used social media to communicate with boys and girls ages 12 to 16 while pretending to be a cop.

“He asked to meet with some of those children,” Fitch noted. “The third offence involved a 14-year ward of the state. The appellant invited the child to have a shower with him, stood in front of him naked and asked him for sex.”

READ ALSO: Hepner says ‘enough already’ after ‘high-risk sex offender returns to Surrey

At the same time, Fitch noted, Goddard was also sentenced for breaching two bail conditions, one involving his using social media to communicate with children while pretending to be a woman whose cousin, a news reporter, wanted to do a commercial with them.

On July 13, 2012, he breached his probation by posing as a landscaper and using social media to hire three teenage boys and was sentenced to 12 days in jail, on top of time served.

On June 11, 2013 and Oct. 29 that same year Goddard breached his probation by failing to report and seek employment, for which he was sentenced to another three years of probation.

READ ALSO: Abbotsford sex offender plans to live in Surrey

On Aug. 13, 2015 Goddard was sentenced to three more years of probation for sexually assaulting his 18-year-old cellmate at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre, forcing him to masturbate him in the cell or he’d “smash his face into the wall and call friends outside of jail to beat him up if he told anyone about it,” Fitch noted.

One of the 23 conditions concerned Goddard not being permitted to go to any public park, public swimming area or community centre where children under 18 are present or can be “reasonably expected” to be present, or a daycare centre, school ground or playground, and this condition is to be monitored by electronic supervision.

Goddard successfully argued at appeal that he should be permitted to attend such places while accompanied by an adult whom his probation officer has approved of in advance. Fitch amended this condition, in his reasons for decision, with the provision that Goddard must obtain that approval in writing first.

Fitch also decided to amend a condition that Goddard not be found wearing or possessing any clothing, hats, insignias, patches or emblems that represent him falseley as an employee of a business or company.

“Obviously, it is not the purpose of the order to subject the appellant to criminal liability for wearing a T-shirt or cap bearing the logo of a business,” the judge concluded. “In my view, the condition should be refined to more narrowly target the type of manipulative behaviour that motivated its imposition.”

The condition, as amended: “You will not deliberately hold yourself out as being an employee or representative of any business or company that does not in fact employ you or that you do not in fact represent, or as being self-employed in a business in which you are not legitimately self-employed, whether by your words, clothing or other visual symbol, or in any other manner. If you are employed by or a representative of any business or company, or if you are self-employed, you are to provide proof of that employment to your probation officer.”

The third probation condition the appeal court amended was that Goddard must not engage in activities, volunteer work or employment that could bring him in contact with children under 18 without his probation officer’s written consent, which he must carry with him.

Goddard argued this is “overbroad, unreasonable, and detrimental to his rehabilitation and re-integration into society,” Fitch noted.

The judge’s amendment: “You must not seek, obtain or continue any employment, whether or not the employment is remunerated, or become or be a volunteer in any capacity that involves being in a position of trust or authority towards a person under the age of 18 years.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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